Outgoing Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez hailed an incredible end to his career at the club in Saturday’s 3-1 Champions League final win over Juventus, while also admitting he felt a bit nostalgic as it sunk in that his time at the club was now over.The record-breaker says it will be tough to leave Barcelona after lifting the Champions League trophy on his final appearance in the famous strip.
The 35-year-old came on in the 78th minute to set a new record of 151 Champions League appearances in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Juventus in the final in Berlin which was the fourth time he had won European club football’s most prestigious trophy.
In the final match of Champions League, Xavi entered as a substitute late on for what was his 767th and final game for Barca before lifting the Champions League trophy, and receiving his 25th competition winners medal over his 17 seasons in the Blaugrana first team.Barcelona went ahead on a fourth-minute goal by Ivan Rakitic. Alvaro Morata levelled for Juventus in the 55th minute before Luis Suarez and Neymar put the game out of reach.
After revealing last month that he was set to leave the club and join Qatari outfit Al-Sadd, Xavi has spent the most recent few weeks lifting the La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies, as he sealed his own and Barca’s record second Treble-winning season.
Speaking to the reporters after the game, the veteran playmaker said it was hard to put his feelings into words, but he was just so happy after an incredible last game for his lifelong club.”There are no words, this is spectacular,” Xavi said. “I could not ask for more. To leave like this, with the Champions League, the treble. Brutal by the team, the fans, everything.I feel a bit nostalgic, knowing you are not going to play again for this team; that is hard. But I am very happy, with how my career has gone, and to finish with this game is incredible.”
Xavi, who is leaving for Qatar’s Al-Sadd after this season, replaced Iniesta in the 77th minute. “That’s the last game for us,” Iniesta, the man of the match, told reporters. “It’s the best image we can leave, winning the Champions League.”
Xavi was also asked about the future of coach Luis Enrique, who after guiding Barca to just the second treble in the club’s history. “Luis Enrique deserves this,” Xavi responded. “He has received lots of criticism, and kept working the same. He is a leader for this team. I celebrated with him, and all the staff, who did tremendous work. He deserves to stay, is the best option, but has not said anything. Now to enjoy this Treble, which is incredible.”