Bartomeu: Xavi has earned the right to decide his own future

Pirlo and Xavi Italy Spain

Josep Maria Bartomeu has encouraged midfielder Xavi to remain with Barcelona but admits that he's earned the right to decide his own future.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu praised captain Xavi Hernandez in an interview with Canal+ following Sunday evening's 0-1 win over Celta Vigo, insisting that the game changed when the veteran playmaker came on and would leave the door open for him to return next season, amid rumours that he will make a move to Qatari side Al-Sadd this summer.

In his post-match, Bartomeu also spoke about the performance of Jeremy Mathieu and feels that, after the Frenchman scored twice over the past two games, that former Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta would be proud.

"Mathieu's second consecutive goal is very good. He came here as a defender, but attacking in set-pieces helps a lot."

Bartomeu then praised Xavi Hernandez and urged the iconic midfielder to stay for one more season and end his career with Barcelona, strengthening the reputation and relationship the Spaniard has with the club.

"He's always necessary, he's the best midfielder in the history of the club, he's essential. He always plays well, he's very important to us. There was a notable change when he came on, he brought a fresh look to the game that that team needed.

"Qatar? He went there with his family and his wife, but there's nothing [to the rumours]. He knows that it's his call whether he stays another year or leaves, he's earned this right and it's his decision. Whatever he decides, will be fine."

Bartomeu concluded by stating that he hadn't seen Real Madrid's 9-1 win over Granada earlier in the evening but heard it was a great game and that he's fully focused on his team and their subsequent performances on the pitch.

Barcelona will now prepare to face Almeria on Wednesday evening before facing fifth place Sevilla this weekend.

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