Barcelona star Xavi to join Qatari side Al-Sadd next season

AFP , Saturday 28 Mar 2015

Barcelona star Xavi (Photo: Reuters)

Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez has signed for Qatari side, Al Sadd for next season, it was confirmed by club officials on Saturday.

Pictures posted on social media by Al Sadd first team manager Abdullah Al-Berik said the 35-year-old 2010 World Cup winner had signed for one of Qatar's top league sides.

"Al Sadd have just managed to sign Barcelona captain Xavi and this is a picture of him with sporting director Muhammed Ghoulam," Berik wrote on Instagram.

Xavi's signing is one of the biggest coups for Qatari domestic football in a country set to host the 2022 World Cup.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said if the transfer is confirmed, the club will not stand in the way of what would be a surprise move for the iconic playmaker.

"I will say what I did last sumer, Xavi has earned the right to decide his future and he has a contract until the end of next season," said Bartomeu.

"If he decides to leave then he will have the full support of the board and I would imagine the supporters. He has the two options and he has the right to decide." added the president.

Al Sadd are currently second in the league, seven points behind Lekhwiya, the side coached by former Barcelona player and Danish international Michael Laudrup.

Xavi is thought to have signed a three-year contract with Al Sadd, with his role believed to combine coaching as well.

He follows in the footsteps of Real Madrid star Raul, who played for Al Sadd between 2012 and 2014.

Xavi has spent his whole career at Barcelona, playing more than 800 games for the Catalan side since his debut in 1998.

Barcelona are currently four points clear at the top of La Liga and also in the running for more silverware in the Champions League and Copa Del Rey.

He has also won more trophies -- 25 -- than any other Spanish footballer.

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