Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is set to confirm his departure from the Catalan club during a press conference on Thursday, according to the player’s father.
In recent months, the 35-year-old has been linked with a move to the Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC, as well as the Qatari club Al Sadd.
Now, it is understood the legendary Barcelona and Spain international will ultimately end up with the Qatari side, where he will also study for his coaching badges at the Aspire Academy while in the country.
During an interview with the Spanish radio program El Partido de las 12, Joaquim Hernandez (Xavi’s father) revealed that his son will announce his departure from Barcelona at a press conference arranged for Thursday.
“We’re so used to seeing him in a Barcelona shirt for so long now,” Hernandez said. “Time has passed so quickly and I think the moment has arrived for Xavi to say ‘goodbye’.
“Life goes on, there will be a lot of nostalgia, but life is like that. His decision is a measured one and a correct one.
“It is a personal decision, but also one taken with his family in mind. For [Xavi], the family is very important. We have formed a united nucleus for a long time and I think that the aim would have been to end his career [at Barcelona].
“But life continues. He’s 35 and he believes that the end of the season is the right time to say ‘enough’.”
Xavi’s father acknowledged that the offer from the Qatari side Al Sadd was his son’s best option for continuing his professional career.
“Not just on an economic level, but also on a level of continuing in the football world,” he continued.
“He can learn English, take his coaching badges and change the way he lives a little. I think that the moment is right and the decision is a good one.”
Finally, Joaquim confirmed that Xavi’s passion for football continues.
“I think that since he was very little, six or seven, he’s lived football with a great passion,” he concluded.
“I would say that he’s an authentic professor of football. He watches games, reads [about football], follows so many teams, opponents and everything in general.
“He lives and breathes for football. I don’t think he is tired of the game at all.”
Xavi emerged from Barcelona’s famed youth academy, La Masia, and has made over 700 appearances for La Blaugrana in seventeen seasons.