Amidst all the talk of Xavi being caught in terminal decline, little Humphrey Bogart made his 700th official appearance for Barcelona against Getafe last night.
Having been given his debut – in which he scored – 15 years ago by Louis van Gaal, Xavi has clocked up an average of 43.75 games per season – a staggering stat when you consider that it took until the Rijkaard era, and then the Pep Team, for him to truly establish himself as Barcelona’s midfield stalwart.
Still just 34, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Xavi racks up another 100 Barcelona appearances before hanging up his boots.
In any case, with Puyol standing no chance of overtaking him, Xavi’s record of most appearances for Barcelona, as well as most titles, looks safe for many years to come.
Xavi was the man of the moment in the Barcelona dressing room afterwards, with teammates queuing up to get a snap with the 700 man (Pictures below the fold.)
Watch Xavi’s short individual highlights from last night’s Copa del Rey game, in which he came on as a late sub for Iniesta.