SPAIN: Xavi Hernandez, the unsung hero


FC Barcelona’s Spanish international, Xavi Hernandez goes down in history as being the first football player to make 96 out of 96 passes in a Champions league game.

When Barcelona drew the game, 1-1 with Paris St. Germain (PSG) on the 11th of April 2013 (Singapore time), the plaudits went to goalscorer Pedro and substitute Messi. However, as always, there is an unsung hero, that man is Xavi Hernandez.

In the build-up to the solitary goal that Barca scored which is seen as great link-up play between Messi, Villa and finally Pedro with the finish. However, people fail to realize that even in that goal, Xavi played that through ball for a half-fit Messi, to begin his routine mazy run through the middle which eventually led to Pedro’s equalizer.

While Barca have broken several records in La Liga and the Champions League this season, there is an individual record that is unmatched. After the PSG game, statistics showed that Xavi made 96 out of the 96 passes he attempted; that is a 100% pass record for the entire game. Yes we know Xavi is one of the best passers of the ball for more than a decade, but I doubt anyone would expect a football player to achieve what he has. Sure, Xavi has won it all at club level including international team awards from Euro 2008 and 2012, to the World Cup 2010. Individually, he has been in team of the year and midfielder of the year for several years running. But now he can add that record for passing the ball 100% in that match.

After winning on aggregate (3-3) against PSG, Barcelona’s next task is a big one. Bayern Munich stand in the way of the Catalans before the prized Champions League final spot at Wembley. Putting aside, the obvious stars, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Fransesc Fabregas, there might just be an unsung hero once again; yes, Xavi Hernandez.

There is a growing number of football fans that say Barcelona don’t have a chance of wining Bayern this time (FCBarcelona won the 08/09 Champions League quarter-finals 4-0). However, according to the man that might just make the difference in the Bayern tie, “I’m optimistic. If you’re not optimistic, you might as well give up now.”


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