Tributes pour in for Xavi, football visionary



As the man you could describe as ‘the soul of Barcelona’ moves on, it is no exaggeration to say that he has been part of something that has changed football profoundly. Here are a selection of tributes for Xavi’s 17 years at the centre of Barcelona and Spain’s golden age.

“Thank you for making us all better players.” – Iniesta

“It was a pleasure to be next to Xavi. He is a different player who makes things look easy. He sees passes that only he sees.” – Messi

“Xavi is a player who has the Barcelona DNA, someone who has the taste for good football, someone who stays humble and someone who has loyalty to his club.” – Pep Guardiola

“If Xavi has a bad day, Barcelona do not play half as well as usual. He dominates the rhythm of the game. His play allows the team to function. He is different.” – Johann Cruyff

“Tiki-taka is Xavi’s registered trademark. The day he is not here, I don’t know if we will be able to continue with it.” – Sandro Rosell (Barcelona president 2010-2014)

“Xavi is the real coach at Barca” – Zapatero, Spanish ex-President

“While we live in the present, Xavi lives in the future. He thinks ahead of everyone and he makes everything so much easier.” – Dani Alves

“Xavi has been a key man in the run we have had in Spanish football. It’s hard to find a player coming through who can replace him. He is irreplaceable.” – Del Bosque


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