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Midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez to leave Barcelona after 17 trophy-filled seasons


SANT JOAN DESPI, Spain — Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez says he will leave the Catalan club after 17 trophy-laden seasons in which he set club records for appearances and titles won.

The 35-year-old Xavi, who has played 764 matches for Barcelona, says he will cut his contract short by one year and leave after this season to go play for Qatari club Al-Sadd on a two-year contract.

He says "it is the moment to change."

Xavi will lift his eighth Spanish league trophy at Camp Nou on Saturday. He has the chance to add another two trophies to the 23 he has already won, with Barcelona set to play the Copa del Rey and Champions League finals.

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