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Barcelona and Spain legend announces retirement and plans to move into coaching 

The former World Cup winner will now concentrate on obtaining his coaching license

We’re definitely getting old. 

Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve watched and wept as a host of players we grew up idolising have hung up their boots.

We weren’t ready for this

AFP or licensors
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We weren’t ready for this

Premier League legends Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard bowed out last year, while we also said goodbye to greats like Francesco Totti and Xabi Alonso at the end of the season.

Recently, we’ve been dealt the blow that Andrea Pirlo will never-again grace a football pitch, while it’s fairly likely we’ll see the last of Gianluigi Buffon at the end of this season.

Pirlo played his last game for NYCFC this week

AP:Associated Press
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Pirlo played his last game for NYCFC this week

And now there’s another great name we can add to the list.

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has announced his plans to retire and pursue a career in coaching.

Xavi has been playing for Qatari side Al Sadd since 2015

AFP
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Xavi has been playing for Qatari side Al Sadd since 2015

The 37-year-old, who currently turns out for Qatari side Al-Sadd, is widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

His passing range and ability made him the embodiment of Barcelona and Spain’s glorious ‘tiki-taka’ style of play that dominated the game a few years back.

He was part of the highly successful Barcelona side of the early 2010’s

Times Newspapers Ltd
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He was part of the highly successful Barcelona side of the early 2010’s

But don’t feel too sad for him.

The playmaking genius has won pretty much everything possible in the game, including the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012 with Spain.

He also won countless honours with Barcelona, notably the Champions League an incredible four times.

He also won multiple honours with Spain

Corbis
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He also won multiple honours with Spain

In 2015, he left Barca after 17-years to play in the Middle East, and recently claimed his time in Qatar helped him prolong his career.

Speaking to Sport, he said: “I’ve had luck not to be injured and I think my career has come towards its end.

“There’s been a descent. Qatar allowed me this. Now I see myself being more tired, it’s harder to recover.”

Xavi is considered a legend at Barcelona

Getty Images - Getty
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Xavi is considered a legend at Barcelona

But the Spaniard reiterated his desire to stay in the game, saying: “I have the idea of getting my coaching license next year and being a coach.”

So, will Xavi be a successful coach?

Former Barca greats Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique certainly did alright. 

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