Barcelona midfielder Xavi says he is in the best shape of his career and is not entertaining the idea of hanging up his boots.
The Spain midfielder turned 34 in January but says that while he he does not see himself still being involved in international soccer when the 2018 World Cup rolls around, retirement is not currently on his mind.
"I am physically well," he told So Foot. "I feel even better than the previous two seasons. Honestly, this is the first time in my career that I have felt so good. I'm more mature and much better physically."
Consequently, Xavi has given little thought to what he will do with himself when he does eventually decide to call time on his illustrious playing career.
"What I know is that I love football and I intend to stay in this world," the World Cup winner stated. "In any case, I would not know where to look [for a job] in an office. What do you want me to do — economics? Social and political debates are too complicated for me. What I like is football."
When he does retire, Xavi will leave behind an incredible legacy, given he has been a key component in the Spain and Barcelona sides that have dominated world soccer on the international and club level.
Consequently, some pundits feel he will go down as his country's greatest ever player — but he is embarrassed by such talk.
"There are many other players," he argued. "Why shouldn't [Iker] Casillas be considered the best Spanish player of all time? He has virtual the same titles as I do. There's also [Carles] Puyol, [Sergio] Ramos, [David] Villa, Raul ... and [Fernando] Hierro, [Pep] Guardiola, Luis Suarez, [Alfredo] Di Stefano. ... But just the fact that I'm cited in this debate is an honor."
Xavi humbly added that two coaches in particular have played a key role in the successes he has enjoyed as a player.
"[Pep Guardiola] will always be an important person in my life," he said. "He was when I was a kid, and he was when he coached me [at Barcelona]. I've liked working with all the coaches I've had but if I had to highlight two, it would be Pep and [former Spain boss] Aragones. They have been very important."
- Sports & Recreation