Chelsea boss Mourinho on departing Barcelona idol Xavi: He deserved a Ballon d’Or

Pirlo and Xavi Italy Spain

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has described Xavi as one of the world’s best players over the last decade and claimed the Barcelona ace deserved to win a Ballon d’Or, Mundo Deportivo report.

The Spanish international is to call time on his Barcelona career at the end of the season after agreeing to join Qatari side Al Sadd on a three-year deal, the BBC confirmed.

Likewise with Steven Gerrard, Xavi is ending a 17-year affiliation with his boyhood club and his career at the Nou Camp has seen him claim a total of 23 titles, including three Champions League successes.

Moreover, two European Championships and one World Cup success with his country mean Xavi is on the verge of becoming the most decorated player in Spanish history, prompting Mourinho to sing his praises.

“I’m completely honest to say that Xavi is one of the world’s best players over the past decade and he deserves to win what he will never have – a Ballon d’Or success,” the Blues boss explained.

The 35-year-old was the focal point in midfield during Pep Guardiola’s reign as boss, a trophy-laden four-year period which saw many observers name the Catalans the greatest club side in history.

Alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, Xavi helped to form such a dazzling midfield that former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson likened his passing abilities to a carousel.

This season, despite not being as influential as in previous campaigns, Luis Enrique has still called upon his services with regularity, with the diminutive midfielder set to make his 19th La Liga start this weekend.

With 23 titles already in the bag, one more success in either the Copa Del Rey or Champions League final will see Xavi create Spanish football history, but his legendary status has already long been secured.

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