Barcelona midfielder Xavi recently refuted reports claiming that the 30 year old Spanish star was considering retiring from international football to prolong his career. The World Cup winner from this summer and treble winner from two years ago is among the most successful active footballers in the world and is considering by many to be the best midfielder in the game today.
But at 30 years of age and with a nagging Achilles tendon problem, rumors have surfaced claiming that the Barcelona passing sensation is considering retiring from international football once he surpasses 100 caps for his career. Xavi is currently at 97 and obviously is very close to the milestone.
But the popular footballer and legendary league player recently expressed his desire to continue playing with La Furia Roja even if it does affect his league career down the road. Xavi suggested in an interview with Marca that he expects to play not only in Euro 2012, but in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before he call it quits with the World Cup winning Spanish side:
I want to deny that I want to leave the Spanish national team. I want to go to the European Championship finals (2012) and to the World Cup in Brazil (2014). I don’t know where all this has come from. I want to play against Portugal and in every game, even friendlies. I’m excited about playing for the national team. I get the feeling that my commitment is continually being doubted when I’ve never given any reason for that. Every time I have a press conference I have to give explanations.
And I always love to hear million dollar men stress their love for the game even when it financially doesn’t profit for them the way their league career does. Playing for your country is an honor like none other in football and it is good to see even people like Xavi and Beckham ,who have accomplished so much in their careers and made so many bucks, continue to stress their love for international football and representing their country with pride.
The only question left is will the world’s best midfielder be good enough to star for the side in 2014? After all despite how great Xavi is, Spain has been known to develop a footballer or two over a span of 4 years.
My bet is that in 2014 Xavi will be there and he will still be one of the best in the game even then. Because excellent down field vision and the touch of a great passer never fades with old age.