Xavi joined Barcelona at the age of 11.Reuters

Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez is set to leave the club this summer and will be joining the Qatari side Al Sadd on a three-year deal. The midfield playmaker who has won eight La Liga and three UEFA Champions League titles with the Catalans made the announcement on Thursday. 

He still can win two more trophies with the newly coronated La Liga champions in the Copa Del Rey and UEFA Champions League Finals against Juventus.

Xavi will be playing his final game against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday where he will be lifitng the eighth La Liga Trophy with Barcelona, although he has not played that many games as one would expect him to play under new coach Luis Enrique.

"I couldn't have had a better career, it was a tough decision," said Xavi in an interview to the BBC Sport.

"We have a unique opportunity to make history. I think the Qatar project is nice, and it's ideal for me. In the future I'd like to come back to Barca.

"I had a very good offer to renew with Barca, but I didn't even tell my mother. I want to keep playing. I know I can still perform, although it'll be in a lower-level league. Barca will continue to be great without me. I'm convinced," Xavi added.

Iniesta told Barcelona TV that it was a true pleasure playing with Xavi. "I have run out of words of praise, I can't find a compliment that does justice to what he represents, what he means as a person and a player," said Iniesta.

Xavi has played for his national side Spain and he was instrumental in ending the country's 44-year Euro Cup drought in 2008. He was also a member of the World Cup winning Spain squad in 2010. Euro 2012 trophy also went to Spain when they thrashed Italy 4-0 in the final and Xavi was a crucial member of the Spanish national squad then.

"Xavi has been a key man in the run we have had in Spanish football. It's hard to find a player coming through who can replace him. He is irreplaceable," Spanish national coach Vicente Del Bosque told Reuters.

Xavi joined Barcelona in 1991 and he graduated from the club's academy to the first team in 1998. He made his debut for Spain in the year 2000 against the Netherlands. 

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