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15.02.2009 12:43

Xavi matches Rexach

Roger Bogunyà

The game on Saturday at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera was the 452nd for Xavi Hernández in a Barça shirt. That means the man from Terrassa has now played the same number of games as the great Carles Rexach.

Xavi Hernández is now joint second with Carles Rexach as the player with the most Barça appearances to his name. With 452, only Migueli, with 548, played more.

Since 1998

XAVI_1998-99.JPGXavi’s spell in the Barça first team goes back to 1998. He was a key player from the start, scoring a crucial goal against Valladolid that signalled the start of a dramatic comeback in the league. In his first season, Xavi played 26 times in all competitions, and by the following season had already established a regular first team place.

Important goals

01-04-05_Web_Rijkaard_y_Xavi_01.jpgFrank Rijkaard always had faith in Xavi, and played him for 35 games or more every season (apart from 2005/06, when the player suffered a serious injury). And the player seems to get better and better. Last season he also started scoring more goals than ever, nine over the season, which along with his seven this year have taken his all-time total up to 43. That’s an average of a goal every ten games, quite some achievement considering his role in the side is to create, and not score, goals.

Big honours

xavi_mvp_xuefa.comx.jpgIn his eleven years in the first team, Xavi Hernández has won almost anything a footballer could hope for. Three leagues, two Spanish Super Cups and one Champions League. He is also a key member of the Spanish national side, and in 2008 was named the best player in the European Championship, which Spain of course won. He was also named in FIFA’s top ten players of the year.
Xavi matches Rexach
Games per season
1998/99: 26 matches
1999/00: 38 matches
2000/01: 36 matches
2001/02: 52 matches
2002/03: 44 matches
2003/04: 49 matches
2004/05: 44 matches
2005/06: 22 matches
2006/07: 54 matches
2007/08: 54 matches
2008/09: 30 matches

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