Xavi has bid goodbye to Barcelona and the fans, the club in its entirety and thanked everyone who has helped his career at the catalan club in his farewell speech.
Saturday’s UCL final against Juventus will be Xavi’s last match, as the 35 years old veteran midfielder will put an end to his 24 years long career at the Catalan side.
Flanked by club president Josep Bartomeu and Andres Iniesta, Xavi gave his farewell speech as Barca honoured him with a special goodbye.
“Many thanks to you all for being here,” Xavi began.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank every single socio and fan of Barcelona, and everyone who has given me their affection lately. I am very grateful to everyone who has asked me to stay, to those who have chanted my name at Camp Nou, and to all of those who have thanked me, but the person who’s really grateful is me.
“Thanks to Barcelona. I’ve been here for nearly 25 years since I was 11 years old, from Terrassa, as a child dreaming of being a footballer. Not in my wildest of my dreams could I have imagined what I have lived through here at Barcelona. I have been and I am immensely happy.
“I only have words of thanks to all the coaches that I had in the youth teams. From the first, like Asensi or Manolo Lobo, to the last that I had in Barca B, Josep Maria Gonzalvo.
“I was lucky to be here with Joan Vila. Joan, I am who I am thanks to you. Thanks so much. I can never give back to you what you have done for me. You were the key person in my development. You taught me everything, changed the way I play, and helped me understand the game. Before training with you, I enjoyed it and had a good time, but you taught me all the concepts I have now.
“Here I became a footballer, but a person as well. The titles and acknowledgements are nothing compared to the smiles and friends, they are the most beautiful thing that I will take from these years.
“I grew up in the Quinta del Troya, with bermudo, David Prats, Piveti, Antoni Hidalgo and Toni Lobo. With them I shared my youth and 20 years later, we’re all still friends.
“And to all the presidents I have had. Nunez, Gaspart, Laporta, Rosell, and Bartomeu, you have always been good with me and I can say I have had a good relationship with all of them.
“As well, with my coaches, including those who were here only briefly, like Radomir Antic, Serra Ferrer, Carles Rexach and Tata Martino. I want to give thanks to Louis van Gaal for his confidence in me. To Frank Rijkaard, who told me that I had to become an idol. To Pep Guardiola, an idol for me when I was a player and later as a coach. Thanks to Tito Vilanova, you were like a footballing father for me. I will always carry you in my heart.
“Thanks too to Luis Enrique and Andoni Zubizarreta, who convinced me not to leave last year. It’s lucky I didn’t do it, because now I would be tearing my hair out.
“I have lived half a life in Camp Nou and I have been lucky to share it with the greatest sportsmen and the greatest people. I could spend hours giving thanks to all my team-mates with whom I have shared a dressing room, starting with my current team-mates, and following with the great friends I have made.
“As well I have to thank other people, like Angel Mur, Txema Corbella, Alejandro Echevarria, Pepe Costa, Doctor Pruna, and many others. Everyone in the dressing room are cracks.
“Although I have already said goodbye to the national team, I would also like to have a special thought for the people from la Roja where I grew up and revelled from a small child. A special mention for the memory of Luis Aragones. Sir, wherever you are, you know I can never thank you enough all you did for me. It changed everything.
“Finally, those of mine who I have unconditional love for. Those who have given everything for me. In the good moments and the bad ones. Ivan Corretja, my friends in Terrassa, thanks for always being by my side. Thanks to the S’Agaro group, and my in-laws.
“To my brothers, you are my life. If I’m here now, it’s because of you. Many thanks.
“Thanks father for your advice. I don’t know what I could have done without it. Thanks mother, without you I would have left Barcelona many years ago and we would not be here. Thanks for believing in me, always.
“Finally, thanks to Nuria [his wife], the most important person in my life. The two of us go to Qatar, but soon we will be three. Although we don’t know the name yet, or the baby’s socio number, we know we will be three Cules in Qatar.
“And to return to the start. Thanks to Barcelona. I will be eternally grateful for all you have given me. Before I go, I hope to lift another cup this Saturday in Berlin. I hope this will not be a goodbye, but a see you soon.
“Visca Barca and visca Catalunya!”