Xavi experience excites Nigerian star


Super Eagles forward Sylvester Igboun has expressed delight after playing against Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez in a pre-season friendly.

Igboun was involved for Russian side UFA when they came up against Qatari side Al-Sadd who had the 36-year-old on their books and the Nigerian ended on the winning side as they ran out with a 1-0 victory.

“It was nice to meet and play against a great legend Xavi Hernandez – great experience,” Igboun posted on his personal twitter handle.

Igboun isn’t the only one blushing about the simplicity and great personality of the former Spanish international.

Thiago Alcântara, former Barcelona team-mate said: “Xavi is eternal. Even when he is not at his very best level physically, he plays a kind of football that gives oxygen to a team, play, speed. It makes me sad to think that I won’t be able to watch Xavi [in Europe] for more time. He’ll always have that level. He is football. He is one of those players that has made Barcelona what it is today.”

Hristo Stoichkov also former Barcelona team-mate commented: “I remember that little lad, fresh-faced, just a kid, coming on at Valladolid and scoring a header – a header that saved that Dutchman’s [Louis van Gaal] neck. If we’re talking about Xavi, we’re talking about a legend in world football, a genuine legend. From the very first game to the very last game he has been the most decisive player at Barcelona, the player who has done more for Barcelona than anyone else, the player who has lifted more trophies than anyone else, ever. That’s Xavi Hernández. There will be a Before Xavi and an After Xavi. It’s not fair that he never won the Balon d’Or, but he was ‘unlucky’ to coincide with Messi. I am sure that one day he will end up coaching Barcelona. There will never be another player like him.”

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla and former Spain team-mate added: “There will never be a player like Xavi. I was fortunate to play with him and I learned something new every day. He’s a player that made the difficult look easy, simplifying everything”