Barcelona legend Xavi has announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the season to join Qatari club Al Sadd.

The midfielder has been with the Catalans for 24 years, since joining La Masia as an 11-year-old, and has made over 750 appearances for the first team during that time – more than any other player in the club’s history.

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Although he has featured 41 times so far for Barca in their La Liga-winning campaign, he has been used as a substitute more often than a starter under Luis Enrique.

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“I am announcing my departure from the club this season,” Xavi told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “This decision is final and difficult.

“The club offered me a renewal, but I had already made my decision. I think it’s time to leave Camp Nou now.

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“I’ll continue playing at Al Sadd, which is an exciting prospect. I have sign a deal for two seasons, but there’s an option for a third.

“I’ll also be able to develop myself as a coach and sporting director in Qatar.”

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