GRANADA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 25: Xavi Hernandez (C) of FC Barcelona lines up a free kick beside Lionel Messi (L) and Daniel Alves during the La Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at estadio Estadio Nuevo De Los Carmines on October 25, 2011 in Granada, Spain. Xavi scored from the free kick. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Sometimes, football can be disappointing. Money, fame, players who act like they’re God’s gift to mankind. Football fans, however, are a naïve bunch and have expectations from their clubs that border on Utopia.
With all the noise that comes with transfer windows, it’s easy for fans to go a little crazy about a particular player. Arsenal fans were furious that Cesc left, Barca fans were ecstatic that he came home. Some players though are untouchable. Fans simply cannot doubt their loyalty. Xavi Hernandez is one of them.
So when reports of him leaving Barca emerged, I can’t help but wonder. Don’t these clubs know that? This isn’t some 20 year old fresh off the boat looking to make a name for himself. Xavi represents Barcelona. He is everything that is good about this club and not even the board could really get away with a sale like that even if they considered it.
The possession obsessed Catalan is THE fan. The die-hard Cule who became a player and arguably the most gifted midfielder of this era. Xavi represents more than just Barca’s style of play and along with Carles Puyol is the face of the club (yes, more so than that little fellow). So what exactly was Paris Saint Germain thinking when they came out stating that they were willing to pay his 80 million Euro buy-out clause? Xavi once said in an interview in 2010 when asked about the possibility of leaving Barca, "they would have to force me out, I wouldn’t leave until they forced me out on the streets or if I felt that I wasn’t useful to the club".
Yes, this is also the same player who considered a move to Milan when he was starting out cause he felt the pressure of having to be the "next Pep". His mother and him were the ones who were against the move, when the rest of his family thought Milan would be a good idea. Xavi rejected a multi-million dollar deal to stay in the club that has been part of his family since the days of his grandfather. So what were PSG thinking?
We live in a cynical time with uncertainities being a big part of the game but not all things are for sale. If Carles Puyol is the team’s brawn, then Xavi is the brain and together will remain an inspiration to all the young players in La Masia that with hardwork and loyalty, they could wear the blue and red someday.
The argument that these "reports" used was that the uncertainity around Pep Guardiola’s contract renewal could be taken advantage of and could be the catalyst needed for Xavi to leave. BAH HUMBUG is what I have to say to that.
Sometimes, a huge buy out clause in a player’s contract isn’t just about discouraging clubs through financial methods. Sometimes it’s a very big "Do Not Touch" stamp. Some players are, in my opinion, untouchable because they cannot/will not be sold and shall not be criticised because of the sheer effort and dedication they have shown towards the cause over the years. Barcelona are lucky in that aspect. Most clubs have one mascot, a player that is truly theirs, a player despite being the envy of clubs world wide is simply not for sale. 99% of the time, that player is from their youth system and easy to spot. The pride they show in the colours is there for everybody to see.
Liverpool have Steven Gerrard, Madrid Iker Casillas, Manchester United have Giggs and Scholes. Barcelona have Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Victor Valdes and Lionel Messi. They will never be sold if the club has a choice. So, when I read a comment by a fan (who claims to be a Culé) which went along the lines of "Sell Xavi!He’s old and we should buy Thiago Silva", I swear I couldn’t stop my jaw from hitting the floor. Do these people know what they’re talking about? Are we all in denial? Or is this an isolated case of a fan who’s idea of a football club is crazy transfers in FIFA 12?
That kind of loyalty to the club cannot be taught. Barcelona understand that more than most clubs and reciprocate in kind. So this is for those of you who have the time, watch it once and you realise just how much Xavi Hernandez is more than just a player for Barcelona. He is Barcelona.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Xavi 550 [ENGLISH SUBS] part 1 (via totalBarca)
Xavi 550 [ENGLISH SUBS] part 2 (via totalBarca)
Xavi 550 [ENGLISH SUBS] part 3 (via totalBarca)
Xavi 550 [ENGLISH SUBS] part 4 (via totalBarca)