Xavi intends to retire at season's end and pursue coaching

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Former Barcelona metronome Xavi has decided to call it quits following the 2017-18 campaign in Qatar.

The 37-year-old, who's currently the captain of Al-Sadd, told Catalan newspaper Sport he would remain in the game as a manager.

"I've had luck not to be injured and I think my career has come toward its end. There's been a descent," he said, as translated by Reuters. "Qatar allowed me this. Now I see myself being more tired. It's harder to recover. It will surely be my last year of being a footballer.

"I have the idea of getting my coaching licence next year and being a coach."

Those words will ring loudly in the corridors of Camp Nou, where he spent the vast majority of his celebrated two-decade career. The embodiment of Pep Guardiola's possession football, Xavi made Barcelona's passing game possible.

He won eight La Liga titles with the Blaugrana, three Copas del Rey, four Champions League trophies, and a pair of UEFA Super Cups. Xavi also won the 2010 World Cup in between two European Championship triumphs with Spain.

No one has appeared more times in a Barcelona shirt than Xavi, whose 767 outings confirm his status as one of the sport's ironmen.

He moved to Al Sadd in 2015 and became an ambassador for Qatar's World Cup committee. The gulf nation won the right to hold the 2022 edition despite reports of modern-day slavery and various human rights abuses.

Xavi's Al-Sadd is currently in third place in the Qatar Stars League after seven matchdays.