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Xavi confident of new deal

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez says he is confident of signing a new contract which will keep him at the club for the rest of his career.

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Xavi's current deal at Barca runs until 2014, with an option to renew for two more seasons. In September his agent Ivan Corretja told Catalan television that negotiations had begun to extend this deal, while the player told the club website on Thursday that both sides were making an effort to come to an agreement.

"I hope to be here for many years," Xavi said. "I feel great physically, I have recovered totally from those niggling injuries. Barca are making an effort for me to stay and I am making an effort as well. It is my greatest desire to be able to retire here."

Since making his debut in 1998 after coming through Barcelona's famous La Masia youth academy, Xavi, 32, has made over 600 first team appearances for his only club, winning a host of trophies including three Champions Leagues and six La Liga crowns.

"I am lucky to be at the best club in the world and to have won so many titles for club and country," he said. "I hope to be here for many more years and win more titles. At the moment the club is happy and I am happy, so I hope to stay here and retire at Barca. My idea is to spend all my career here. I have never thought of leaving."

The Catalan admits there have been difficult times along the way, such as when Barca went five seasons without a trophy in the early 2000s, but he says he is now enjoying their current success.

"We went four or five years here at Barca without winning any trophies and that was a very difficult period for everyone," he said. "People did not believe in us, not here at Barca or with Spain. Not winning trophies is the hardest thing for everyone.

"There was a time when the fans did not believe in me or in the team. That was a delicate time. But I am very stubborn and I really believe in myself. I kept my values in mind and carried on. Thankfully now I can enjoy these times, with both Barca and the national team."

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