Xavi Hernández has been at Barcelona since he was a little boy. He’s been a member of their first team for 17 years. And today, he played his last league match at the Camp Nou.
Xavi leaves Barcelona as not just one of the best players the club has seen, but one of the best players in the sport’s history. He was the driver of Barcelona’s tiki taka style that made it the most successful club of this era, and he led the dominant Spain midfield that won the country its first World Cup in 2010, with a pair of UEFA Euro titles bookending it.
So when a player that incredible steps away, it’s notable. And Barcelona marked the occasion with huge farewell that overshadowed what would have otherwise been a La Liga title celebration day.
This won’t be Xavi’s final match in a Barcelona kit. There’s the Copa del Rey final next week and then the UEFA Champions League final the following week, with the club still hoping win the treble for the second time. But Xavi will (likely) never again play a league match at the stadium he has called home for nearly two decades again. But the club made his final one spectacular.