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Jan 8, 2014

Xavi may not end career with Barca

Xavi Hernandez says he can see a situation where he would play for a club other than Barcelona.

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Perhaps the foremost current representative of Barca's tiki-taka style, Xavi joined the club's La Masia academy aged just 11 and has played more than 700 senior games for the Blaugranas.

Since 2006-07, Xavi has averaged in excess of 50 games per season.
Xavi has enjoyed a 23-year association with Barcelona.

The Spain international signed a new contract last year which ties him to the Camp Nou until 2016, but he told football magazine Panenka that he might find it difficult to keep playing to a high enough standard in the coming years to end his career at Barcelona.

“It is difficult to finish your career here,” Xavi said. “I do not know if I will end it at Barca. I would like to. But I do not know what will happen.”

Xavi, who turns 34 on Jan. 25 has experienced problems with his calf muscle in recent years, although he has so far managed the injury sufficiently well to win World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey medals.

The problem has, however, continued into the current campaign, and although Xavi started last weekend’s 4-0 win over Elche in Barca’s return to action after the winter break, coach Gerardo Martino has confirmed he is being rested for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey last 16 first leg clash with Getafe at the Camp Nou.

Xavi said that he had perhaps played too many matches in previous seasons, but insisted he feels good at the moment as he is now being a bit more careful with his body.

“I have not wanted to miss even one game, and I have paid for that,” he said. “Now I see that I need to ration things a little bit more. Here in Spain people tend to exaggerate once a player reaches 30. Sincerely, at the moment I feel better than any time in my career. More mature, better physically, that I have learned more.”

When he finally does hang up his boots, the Terrassa-born midfielder said he would likely remain in football.

“I do not know if I am going to be a coach, because I am still playing and I have not yet stopped to think about it,” Xavi said. “I like football a lot and will stay connected to it. What else would I do? Become an economist?”

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