Xavi set for 700th Barcelona appearance

Ben Hayward
Xavi makes 700th Barcelona appearance

Xavi is set to make his 700th appearance for Barcelona in the Catalans' Copa del Rey clash at Getafe on Wednesday night.

The midfielder has held the record for official appearances for the Blaugrana ever since overtaking the club's former defender Migueli (549 games) in 2011 and is also well clear of current captain Carles Puyol, who could make his 589th Barca appearance on Wednesday.

Xavi made his debut under Louis van Gaal and won La Liga in his first season with the first team, when he was also named as the Primera Division's Breakthrough Player of the Year.

However, constant comparisons with then-captain and Spain midfielder Pep Guardiola led Xavi to consider his future with the Catalan side, and he has admitted he was close to leaving Camp Nou early on in his career.

The midfielder's most successful spell at the club then came, ironically, with Guardiola as coach between 2008 and 2012, when Pep's team claimed 14 trophies, including three Liga titles and two Champions League crowns.

Xavi, who admitted this week that current Bayern boss Guardiola vetoed a possible move to the Bavarians in 2008, has also been linked with a possible summer switch to New York Red Bulls but claims he hopes to end his career at Camp Nou.

The World Cup-winning midfielder and twice European champion with Spain is also Barca's most decorated player, having won 22 major trophies since making his debut for the Blaugrana.

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