As Arsenal fans, we had the pleasure of watching former Spain and Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez twice at the Emirates Stadium.
Paired with Andres Iniesta, backed up by Sergio Busquets and busy supporting David Villa, Pedro and Lionel Messi, he put on a masterclass.
Under Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Iniesta won two Champions League titles with a third added under Luis Enrique in June. They’d already one won, against Arsenal, in 2006. The Spanish national team won the World Cup and two European Championships. Now playing in Qatar we won’t see Xavi again, but would he have ever played in the Premier League, and could we have seen him at Arsenal on a more regular basis?
“I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it,” the midfielder answered when asked if he was ever thinking about a move to England. “As I’ve always been a Barcelona person, I never had to think about it. It has always been my top team.
“To be honest, the Premier League attracts any player. It’s wonderful. The stadiums, the grass, the fans, how they live football. Everything is wonderful.
“When it comes to the big teams, Chelsea, Manchester United, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, teams with history.”
Well, three of those five. We never saw him ply his trade in England but I’m pretty happy about that after the 35-year-old admitted Arsenal wouldn’t have been his first choice.
“Either Manchester United or Liverpool. I know that other teams like Man City have emerged more recently, but, Manchester United are my favourite historically speaking.”
United were on the receiving end in the Champions League final at Wembley in 2011, just two years after Xavi had controlled the midfield in Rome to defeat Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in a different Champions League final.
It’s a shame we didn’t see him up close, but I only would’ve enjoyed that had he become an Arsenal player.