Xavi reveals how close he came to leaving Barcelona for MLS

Pirlo and Xavi Italy Spain

World Cup winner and one-club man Xavi has revealed that he was ready to leave Barcelona and take on a new MLS adventure over the summer.

It is difficult to imagine Xavi turning out for anyone other than Barcelona.

A Catalan native, he has spent his entire career to date at Camp Nou.

Some career it has been as well, with 22 major honours collected over the course of 16 productive seasons.

He has also tasted World Cup and European Championship glory with Spain and earned well over 100 caps for his country.

There was, however, a time at the start of the summer when it appeared as though a glittering era was coming to a close.

Xavi admits he was ready to sign for MLS newcomers New York City, before a last-minute call from Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu helped to change the 34-year-old’s mind.

He told Sport: "The decision was made. I was going to New York. It was all done. A call from Bartomeu was what changed everything. He called my agent and told him that he wanted me here.

"Before I went to the World Cup I told them I thought my time at Barcelona was over. I did not feel useful and thought it was not to be. After the World Cup I received a call from Bartomeu and then talked to Luis Enrique.

"He told me I'm going to be a very useful player, that if I prove it, I'll play, that I'm still competitive and they thought of me well, that we would have a good year.

"He convinced me. It was decisive. I changed. We already had bags packed with my wife to go to New York."

Xavi is now competing with Ivan Rakitic for a starting berth at Barca and is no longer among the first names on the team sheet.

He has, however, been a regular throughout the 2014/15 La Liga campaign and still offers plenty to the collective cause.

His vast experience and desire to be the best continues to rub off on those around him and he is tied to his current employers until the summer of 2016.

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