The heartbeat of perhaps the most stylish side for many a year, Xavi is the conductor that sets the tempo for Barcelona's orchestra of attacking talent. Having captained Spain at youth level, the midfielder has not missed a major tournament since making his senior debut in November 2000 and is the shining light in a Spain midfield already overflowing with world-class talent.
Having been at the Nou Camp since the age of 11, Xavi is the living embodiment of Barcelona's philosophy of artful and aesthetically-pleasing football and is undoubtedly one of the globe's leading playmakers. After taking up the mantle of dictating Barca's midfield following the departure of Josep Guardiola, now his coach, in 2001, Xavi has become the central cog in Europe's finest club side and enjoys an intuitive understanding with Barca and Spain team-mate Andres Iniesta, constructing what Sir Alex Ferguson has described as the Catalans' "passing carousel".
After being named player of the tournament as Spain triumphed at Euro 2008, Xavi enjoyed a remarkable season at Barca when winning six titles in 2008-09. He has won everything there is to win in the game - including the 2010 World Cup - and is one of the best playmakers of his generation.
Strengths: A sublime technician, Xavi rarely wastes possession and, with his visionary passing and ability to hold onto the ball in tight situations is the perfect man to dictate play from deep. A danger from set-pieces, the midfielder also boasts a tremendous work-rate.
Weaknesses: His lack of height and pace would restrict a more limited player but that would be nitpicking.
Career high: Winning the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with Spain.
Career low: Remaining an unused substitute in the 2006 Champions League final victory over Arsenal having spent a large portion of the season sidelined with a knee problem.
Style: Cunning, composed, creative, the ultimate playmaker.
Quotes: "Xavi is a player who has the Barcelona DNA: someone who has the taste for good football, someone who is humble and someone who has loyalty to this club. From the first moment I saw him play, I knew he would become the brain behind Barcelona for many years to come. He plays very, very wellâ¦ much better than I ever played even when I was at my best." Pep Guardiola, September 2008.
Trivia: Only Migueli has played more La Liga games (391) for Barcelona than Xavi.