Barcelona coach believes legendary midfielder, who plays his last game against Deportivo today, could have stayed on for at least one more season
Barcelona: Luis Enrique has said that he is sad to see Xavi leave Barcelona, as he feels the veteran midfielder is capable of another season with the Liga champions. However, the Barca coach respects the 35-year-old’s decision to join Qatar club Al Sadd and expects the long-serving captain to get a great send-off.
Barcelona’s legendary midfielder Xavi acknowledges the crowd after their La Liga win over Real Madrid at Camp Nou on March 22. PIC/Getty Images
He said: “We’ve spoken about Xavi infinite times. He’s now made his decision, he’s said what he feels, what he thinks is correct for himself.
“Unfortunately it’s a decision that players have to make when they get to a certain age. I think this is the right time, it’s a good time to say goodbye to the Camp Nou and hopefully he will get the best farewell possible. If he was going to stay the same age for the rest of his life then we would renew his contract 25 more times times, but age catches up with all of us. For me he is still quite capable of playing for Barca for at least one more season, but that is his decision.”
However, with presidential elections on the horizon, Enrique refused to be drawn on talk of his position on the eve of Xavi’s Camp Nou farewell against Deportivo La Coruna today.
He said: “I have nothing to comment on that matter, I am thinking about three games: one in the league and two finals. That’s all I am going to be talking about right now.
“I have got nothing special to say on the matter anyway, but I’m not going to speak about that until the end of the season. I will do is focus on what I can control at the moment, which is the games that we’ve got left to play.” Enrique also confirmed Thomas Vermaelen will make his long-awaited Barcelona debut against Deportivo. — Goal.com
Barcelona vs Deportivo: Star Sports 4 & HD 4, 22:00