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Xavi to Retire at End of the Season

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Official. Wants to pursue career in managing.

Greatest central midfielder of his generation for me. (Iniesta is more advanced)

Xavi-On-His-Way-To-Man-Utd.jpg

Next Barca manager?

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Great argument that should now be debated even further. Scholes vs Pirlo vs Xavi. 

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Pirlo's laziness and inability to defend costs him points. Out of those three? Xavi for me. 

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Its a shame he sullied his reputation by playing his last football in a Gulf slave state (though its becoming increasingly hard to escape their influence in modern football) but it's hard to think of a player who dominated games, from CL and international finals and Clasicos to standard clashes against mid-table sides, with such consistency over a run of 6-7 years.

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15 minutes ago, Cicero said:

Great argument that should now be debated even further. Scholes vs Pirlo vs Xavi. 

out of those three, Xavi, for me.

They all had their own strengths though so were special in their own way.

Xavi's ability to read the game and link defences in to attack.

Pirlo's play-making skills from deep. His calmness, composure under pressure. Set-piece skills of cours.

Scholes being ginger. 

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Scholes the superior goal scorer and probably had the longest range of pass of the three. 

Xavi could orchestrate and dictate the tempo of the game best of the three, also had superior vision. 

Pirlo made up his lack of physicality with in game intelligence, gracefulness and could play the deepest and still be effective of the three

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Just now, Teso dos Bichos said:

i dont understand how alonso always gets overlooked. even though he played for Liverpool, it was always a joy to watch him play. his passing was a beauty to watch. 

Because Alonso only had a great range of pass. He couldn't dictate like Xavi, he couldn't split open defences like Pirlo nor could he finish like Scholes. 

Alonso, for a spaniard, has pretty substandard vision. 

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44 minutes ago, Cicero said:

Because Alonso only had a great range of pass. He couldn't dictate like Xavi, he couldn't split open defences like Pirlo nor could he finish like Scholes. 

Alonso, for a spaniard, has pretty substandard vision. 

I'd say he could dictate pretty well, Guardiola didn't take him to Bayern Munich aged 32 for nothing.

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8 minutes ago, Inverted said:

I'd say he could dictate pretty well, Guardiola didn't take him to Bayern Munich aged 32 for nothing.

He was purchased to support Thiago, as the latter was and is the main focal point of the midfield. 

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23 minutes ago, Cicero said:

He was purchased to support Thiago, as the latter was and is the main focal point of the midfield. 

And Alonso had the main responsibility to bring the ball out from the back. 

I’d call being the one responsible for your team’s build-up dictating the play, and although Thiago played that role now and then it was clear that Guardiola only seriously trusted Lahm and Alonso to do it.

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Alonso is very different to those other players. The man was a workhorse for most of the teams he played for. Alonso had much more defensive responsibility than the other three players being tossed around.

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7 minutes ago, Inverted said:

And Alonso had the main responsibility to bring the ball out from the back. 

I’d call being the one responsible for your team’s build-up dictating the play, and although Thiago played that role now and then it was clear that Guardiola only seriously trusted Lahm and Alonso to do it.

Not denying that, but the argument was that he couldn't dictate nor orchestrate the level Xavi was at. Xavi could control the tempo as everything went through him, whereas at Bayern, everything generally went through Thiago. 

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For me opting to go to somewhere like Qatar is retirement although not officially correct...

He chose Qatar because they offered him something the MLS wasn't at the time which was to do his coaching badges in conjunction with playing and getting paid stupid amounts of money at the same time.  Plus he was given one of their youth teams to be the official head coach too.  Everything Xavi wanted at that moment so as to prepare for the inevitable which is to coach Barça in the future.

As @Cicero has said, Xavi controlled the tempo and the rhythm of Barcelona's game.  He was a master of understanding and analysing how the game was panning out and how the team's midfield should function...  Infact as Cruyff said, he was an improved version of Pep Guardiola when he was a player.  Pep used to be that player and Xavi took over his mantle who then should've had his heir to that position in a natural and seamless replacement with Thiago Alcántara...  But Thiago wasn't sure when Xavi was going to call it a day seeing as there were negotiations going on at the time to give Xavi a lifetime contract and in so doing, staying for quite some time yet.  Thiago chose to opt out and go to Bayern Munich where he is their midfield reference point and one of Europe's marquee central midfielders.

Xavi is an authentic FC Barcelona legend and part of probably the greatest club generational side in the history of the game.  Without him nothing in that particular team would've been the same and it was a long period all the way back to Louis van Gaal's second period as head coach at Barça...  That's a long time at the top of the tree in the elite game, something that's very difficult to achieve.  One of the greatest midfielders of all time!

As for the debate on who was the best...  Paul Scholes is one of my favourites also of all time in that position, I've always stated that particular opinion of mine.  But Xavi was supremely superior to Scholes...  The Man Utd legend says this himself and Xavi has Scholes as one of the greatest of all time in that position too.

Xabi Alonso was a very different player...  He was more a Busquets type although not as technically gifted as Sergio.  I loved Alonso, but it's a different section of the midfield and there's no comparison to be fairly made there.  Andrea Pirlo on the other hand is something we can debate because although Pirlo started off as a man in the hole between the striker and the midfield, he eventually ended up as a central midfielder, but one that needed a considerable amount of support due to his lethargy and lack of a will to recover his position...  Pirlo's vision was amazing and could spot the intentions of a colleague almost before that colleague had thought about it himself, something that Xavi also possessed but slightly different because Xavi had been brought up in that school of thought at the one club he played elite football where as Pirlo changed clubs so as to become that player.

I adore these kinds of players...  Football without them wouldn't be fun and wouldn't be art.  Art is processed in midfield where football is concerned and in today's game which is so athletic and so well drilled tactically, for players to seem to have so many calculations in their head before they've even received the ball and to then seem to have the time to execute with grace their decision shows that there are certain names that have passed through the annals of football that deserve reverence and eternal acknowledgement.

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I get why he done it as he'd make a mint out there, plastered all over Qatar Airlines too. But it ruined the reputation as a one club man, no one can seriously make the argument they don't count as a club regardless of how shit they are.

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To be honest, I dislike anything from the Western World associated with all of that lot in the Gulf States.  It's a contradiction in terms when they're then associated with some of the charities they're connected to like some in Africa where the Gulf States have financed the genocide, eradication of other faiths and cultures in many countries.  But how many European states are involved in some manner or other with those elements!  It's all over the place...

 

All of this without disputing the fact he didn't end his footballing career outright at Barcelona like Puyol did.

None of this takes away what he was as a player though.

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Diego Maradona sent a video via social media in honour of Xavi Hernández yesterday in a plea for him not to retire from football because according to the "El Pelusa" Xavi still has a lot to offer the game and also stated that when he plays football smiles.  Maradona tells of how important Xavi has been to football and how unique he is also adding that wherever he goes from the moment he hangs his boots he'll always have a place in football because the sport needs him.

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50 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Valverde isn't going anywhere soon but when he does Xavi has to replace him... 

What's the chances of him managing the "B" team like Pep @SirBalon? Might be the perfect platform to learn from and imagine being a youngster coached by the one and only Xavi!

The natural way we would think he'd get into management would be going through the 'C' and 'B' teams at Barça.  But I have heard him say that he'd like to give the Argentinian or Brazilian league a go as there is much to learn there and European managers are missing out on a lot there.

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