Arguably the finest passer on Planet Football, Xavi is the brain behind the enviable styles of play of both Barcelona and Spain. Blessed with outstanding vision, Xavi has the intelligence and authority to shape a game's tempo to his side’s needs. This adeptness at making his teams tick is allied with an uncanny ability to pick a pass and make assists. In short, Xavi is a coach’s dream.
As if that were not enough, the vastly experienced central midfielder is a masterful set-piece taker and, thanks to his powerful shooting and finely honed technique, is always a goal threat from distance. Who could ask for more?
On the podium for the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala in 2010 and 2011, only the show-stopping talents of Argentina’s Lionel Messi have prevented Xavi from accumulating a greater collection of individual awards, yet his calibre as a world-leading midfield string-puller is universally recognised. Indeed, in Spain’s triumph at UEFA EURO 2008, he was chosen as the competition’s best player.
At Barcelona since the age of 11, Xavi gradually worked his way through the youth ranks and into the club’s first team, where he soon proved a worthy successor to Pep Guardiola. A virtual fixture in the Barça starting XI since 1999, he has helped the Catalan club to a vast number of titles, including seven La Ligas, three UEFA Champions Leagues and two FIFA Club World Cups.
Xavi’s first global trophy with La Roja came in victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Nigeria 1999. His legendary status already cemented via his integral part in the EURO wins in 2008 and 2012, as well as Spain’s first FIFA World Cup™ triumph at South Africa 2010, the Terrassa-born star is determined to add to his phenomenal medal collection at Brazil 2014.