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Xavi leaving Barcelona at end of season to sign with Al Sadd

The legendary midfielder snubbed rumored offers from MLS and will be playing in Qatar for the next three years.

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

The long and magnificent career that Xavi had at Barcelona is finally coming to an end. The 35-year-old midfielder has signed a three-year contract with Qatari side Al Sadd, and the final curtain call on this season will be the final curtain call on his Barcelona career.

Al Sadd are one of the giants of the Qatari Stars League, having won the league a record 13 times in their history and 35 of the various domestic cups that have been played. They've also won the AFC Champions League, which pulls together the best teams from across Asia, twice, including being the first Arab side to win it back in 1989.

Xavi has signed a deal believed to be worth €10 million per season for the next three years, and has an option for a fourth. That's a staggeringly high wage number, and likely not one that anyone else was willing to match, despite significant rumors of interest from New York City FC of MLS. Xavi be filling a hole in Al Sadd's roster left by Raul, the Real Madrid legend who spent two seasons with Al Sadd before departing for America last fall to sign for the New York Cosmos.

Xavi's Barcelona career spanned 17 years, with his first senior squad appearance coming in 1998, and he's played 706 all-competitions matches with the Catalan giants. He's been a part of seven La Liga titles, three Champions League wins and twice lifted the Copa del Rey trophy. He's been the side's primary captain since last season, replacing Carles Puyol in the role after serving as his vice-captain for a decade.