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May 14, 2014

Xavi: Title win would be crowning glory

The FC crew look ahead to the summer transfer window; Diego Costa looks primed to join Chelsea and Rio Ferdinand is set to leave Old Trafford.

Barcelona playmaker Xavi believes winning the Primera Division title by beating Atletico Madrid on the last day of the season would be "the icing on the cake'' for Barca's stars.

Xavi made his first-team debut for Barca in 1998.
Xavi made his 700th appearance for Barcelona in January against Malaga.

• Tomas: An unexpected chance
• Ledwith: Barca must take title
Messi on "difficult" season

Following Atletico's 1-1 draw with Malaga and Barca's goalless stalemate at Elche, the Spanish season rests on a winner-takes-all final day clash between Diego Simeone's Atleti and Gerardo Martino's Barca.

Los Rojiblancos need just a point to claim the crown whereas Los Blaugranas would take their 23rd title if they win thanks to a better head-to-head record.

The match will be the last in Barcelona colours for defender Carles Puyol, who leaves the club at the end of this season, with goalkeeper Victor Valdes also leaving the Nou Camp -- although his final season was brought to an early halt by a serious knee injury in March.

"It's a great final, a fantastic match. It would be the icing on the cake for this generation, playing such an important match as this,'' Xavi said in a news conference.

"Carles Puyol is an example to us all for his spirit of leadership, and sacrifice. We've been together our whole careers, he's a great person.

"With Valdes as well, the best goalkeeper in Barca history, people don't know him enough, and we are really missing him now. We wish them all the best. They are two great friends.

"We really believed we had no chance [to win the league], but maybe we gave up too soon. We thought we'd lost the league and these things happen in football, and now it's in our hands. It's a very important title, and we have to be together. It's an historic opportunity. It will be a great final match.''

However, Xavi knows Atleti will be the toughest possible test, with a strong defence and only a point needed for them to win the Liga title for the first time in 18 years.

"They are the best in defence, they pressurise you, support each other and have different options up front,'' he continued.

"We are still hungry and people should be encouraged.... La Liga should be seen as it is, competing until the end. Up against us are a great team."

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