Doha: Al Sadd midfielder and Spanish legend Xavi Hernandez has announced he will retire at the end of the current Qatar Stars League season.
Xavi, who has been playing for Al Sadd since 2015, said that he will move into coaching after hanging up his boots.
Xavi, who played a record 767 times for Spanish giants Barcelona and earned 133 caps with Spain, announced his retirement plans in an open letter to the Spanish media on Thursday.
“This is my last season as a player but I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me as a coach,” said Xavi, who played a sterling role in Al Sadd clinching the QSL title this season.
“It has been a privilege to play football until 39 years of age and now I would like to finish the season on a high by winning the Amir Cup and by getting to the next phase of the AFC Champions League,” added Xavi, who has scored 21 goals for Al Sadd.
767 appearances️ 85 goals25 trophiesThe ultimate expression of the Barça style
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 2, 2019
Xavi was instrumental in Spain winning the FIFA World Cup in 2010 as well as their European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012.
Al Sadd’s QSL triumph was their first since the 2012-13 season and the Doha-based club are in the quarter-finals of the Amir Cup.
In the 2019 AFC Champions League, Al Sadd are top of Group D on seven points after four matches and they face Al Ahli Saudi FC in Doha on Monday.