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19.12.2008 19:45

Xavi will have 23 years of loyalty

Roger Bogunyà

Xavi Hernández is playing in his eleventh season in the FC Barcelona first team, but he has actually spent 17 years with the club.

His contract renewal this term will see him stay at the club until 2014, making a total of 23 years associated with the Blaugrana and see him recognised as one of the most faithful players ever.

Since making his debut against Real Mallorca in the Spanish Super Cup on August 18, 1998, Xavi has not stopped and has become a regular in the Catalan club's colours. Until this Friday, the playmaker has played a total of 442 games for the club, placing him third in the all-time record appearance list for FC Barcelona, behind Migueli, who played 548 times, and Carles Rexach, who played no less than 452 games.

From 1991... to 2014

QM3D9224.jpgIt is even more astonishing to think that Xavi joined Barça seven years before he made his first team debut. At just eleven the Terrassa-born midfielder became a member of the youth set-up and now looks set to stay until he is 34. If that does happen then would mean he has spent 23 years at Camp Nou.

That amount of time has only been matched by such players as Rexach, who spent 22 years as a player with the Blaugrana, 16 in the first team after six in the youth teams.

Games galore

During his eleven seasons at the top, Xavi has played in almost every competition with Barça. The highlight of his career must be the 87 games that he has played in the Champions League. No other Barça player has played so many times in the competition for the club. Xavi has also played 297 times in the league, 37 Copa del Rey games, 13 UEFA Cup matches, five times in the Spanish Super Cup, twice in the FIFA Club World Cup and once in the European Super Cup.
Xavi will have 23 years of loyalty
Honours list
Xavi Hernández has won a host of trophies with FC Barcelona with three league titles (1998/99, 2004/05 and 2005/06) the Champions League (2206) and two Spanish Super Cups (2005/06 and 2006/07) to his name.

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