Yes, it's hard for us to digest it, but one of the greatest eras in FC Barcelona history is getting close to an end. Xavi Hernández has decided to leave Barça after two decades as a Blaugrana, and already has a chosen destination.
It's Qatar, according to reports from Ràdio Barcelona this Friday. It's said that it is just a matter of time for the move to be official, but Xavi has indeed made up his mind and is not going to be at Barça anymore. He has reportedly informed his closest friends, his teammates and the higher-ups in the club -- including manager Luis Enrique -- about his choice, and now he is going to analyze the offers and make a decision about which team he'll play for in Qatar.
The report also says that Xavi has received the offer directly from the Qatar government, since they want the 34-year-old midfielder to be a part of the country's preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which is going to be played there -- at least for now, or until FIFA decides to do something about the alleged schemes that included bribery from the Qatari officials to the people who voted to decide the location of the '22 tournament.
The government wants Xavi to be not only a player, but a catalyst for the evolution of football in the peninsula. That includes the young players, who play in the Aspire Academy. If he accepts the offer, Xavi is going to coach that team, and bring people from outside of Qatar to help the players to improve physical and technical skills. The actual football league in Qatar lasts only six months, and Xavi would spend a part of his vacation months to coach the youngsters.
Xavi is also set to make 8 million dollars a season, according to the report, no matter which team he chooses. There are two current options: Al Arabi, the government team, or Al Sadd, perhaps the most succesful club in the country, winner of 64 total titles, including a record 13 Qatari League championships.
The Barça legend was just eliminated from the World Cup with Spain, and they're expected to come back home next week. If that happens, we could have official word on Xavi's departure.
As of right now, we can just thank him for everything.