Xavi Hernandez is Barça’s and Spain’s man in charge on the pitch, dictating the game with his brilliant passing and possession. It’s been a great year for the Catalan and below are some of the highlights.
13 January: The IFFHS names Xavi as the best midfield playmaker in the world for 2009.
13 January: A few hours later, a brilliant strike from Xavi wasn’t quite enough to avoid Barça being knocked out of the Spanish up by Seville.
23 January: Scores the opening goal in the 0-3 win over Valladolid.
6 February: Xavi scores again, this time in the 2-1 win over Getafe after the team had played with 10 men for more than half of the game.
15 February: Suffers a muscle injury in his right leg.
23 February: Xavi is back for the 1-1 draw in the first leg of the game against Stuttgart in the Champions League.
25 February: The Ajuntament de Terrassa, Xavi’s hometown Council, awards him the Medal of Honour of the City.
14 March: With the 3-0 win against Valencia, Xavi equals Migueli’s record of wins with the team -195- whilst playing 49 fewer games.
17 March: Xavi suffers another muscle injury and misses the second leg against Stuttgart(4-0)
27 March: Comes on for 30 minutes in Mallorca(0-1).
31 March: Xavi leads the team in one of their best performances of the season, the 2-2 draw with Arsenal, setting up Ibra’s second goal.
8 April: Xavi receives the Terrassa Medal of Honour.
10 April: Another exhibition at the Bernabeu where he sets up both Barça’s goals from Pedro and Messi in the 0-2 win.
17 April: Plays in his 10th derby game in the goalless draw at Cornellà-El Prat .
24 April: The 3-1 win against Xerez is Xavi’s 200th La Liga victory.
1 May: A brilliant free kick gives Barça their second goal in the 1-4 defeat of Villarreal and marks a massive step towards retaining the league title.
8 May: Xavi sees his fifth yellow in the 2-3 win at Seville and is suspended for the final league game against Valladolid.
16 May: The win in the final game gives Xavi his fifth league title – only Ramallets and Guardiola, with six, have won more.
20 May: Vicente del Bosque names him in the Spain squad for South Africa.
9 June: Barça and Xavi agree a contract extension until 2014 and possibly 2016. “I want to retire here”, he declares.
16 June: Plays full 90 minutes in shock defeat to Switzerland.
21 June: Plays 65 minutes in the win over Honduras (2-0).
25 June: Xavi leads Spain to 2-1 win over Chile to seal place in the knock out stages.
29 June: A lovely ball to Villa sets up the Spain striker for the only goal on the win over Portugal. Xavi is voted man of the match by FIFA.
3 July: Spain get through to the semis by beating Paraguay 1-0.
7 July: Xavi sends over the corner that Puyol heads home to book a place in the World Cup Final. The goal is a carbon copy of the 1-2 at the Bernabeu in the 2-6 win. Is again voted man of the match.
11 July: Leads Spain’s final win, playing the full 120 minutes in the 1-0 win over Holland.
12 July: Xavi finishes the 2010/11 season with an astonishing 63 games played.
12 August: With his summer holidays over, Xavi joins up with the squad for pre-season training.
16 August: Together with Valdés, Piqué and Messi, he is named as one of the 12 players selected for the UEFA awards.
18 August: Marks 12 years since his debut with the first team against Mallorca.
21 August: Makes his season debut by winning another title, the Spanish Super Cup, as the team come back from a 3-1 first leg defeat to beat Seville 4-0 at the Nou Camp.
25 September: Scores in the 1-3 win at San Mames.
1 October: Suffers an Achilles tendon injury which keeps him out of the next few games.
5 October: Wins the first edition of the Catalan Sports Prize.
6 October: Xavi again received honours from the Ajuntament de Terrassa.
16 October: A brilliant one-two with Iniesta equalises in the 2-1 win over Valencia.
22 October: Xavi misses the game in Zaragoza and is the club’s representative in picking up the Premio Príncepes d’Astúries as part of the Spain team.
29 November: Scores the opening goal and dictates play throughout in Barça’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid.
6 December: Xavi is named as one of the three candidates for the FIFA Pilota d’Or.