2022 FIFA World Cup™

Xavi: Talent is the next evolution of football

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  • Xavi Hernandez gives his thoughts on football in an open letter
  • The 2010 World Cup winner is looking forward to Russia 2018
  • Midfielder believes Qatar’s football culture is growing everyday

Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez believes that enhancing the level of talent in football is the game’s future evolution.

In a letter published by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (the body tasked with the delivery of infrastructure required for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™), the 38-year-old stated that further emphasis on the technical and tactical aspects of the game is where the footballing world should put more of its focus.

“Football has reached an incredible level of physical development,” Xavi said. “Most of the data we receive through television or the press are related to physical performance. Of course, this is important. But I believe we have reached a limit of physical development. The player cannot run more, the intensity cannot be higher – it amounts to almost a half marathon over two games. I think the side of talent, as well as technical and tactical knowledge, is where we can still improve.

“I believe this can be the next evolution of football. Talent is what makes the difference in a football game. On a weekly basis, I follow games in countries across the world. In every country and every league, I look out for teams which play attacking football, and players with talent. For me, the decisive factor is not players with physical presence, but those who give meaning and structure to the game.”

A World Cup winner with Spain at South Africa 2010, Xavi is looking forward to experiencing this year’s world finals in Russia as a fan.

“This summer, we will see many outstanding players. I look forward to watching and enjoying the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, because a World Cup is something truly incredible. I had the good fortune to play in four tournaments, and the honour to lift the trophy in South Africa together with my team-mates. This year marks the first time since I was a teenager that I will be able to live a World Cup as a fan.”

Currently plying his trade in Qatar with Al Sadd, the midfielder has been impressed by how the country has developed as a footballing nation. “Everyday, there is more football culture around you, especially with the World Cup here now just four years away. The country is growing in general, but especially in terms of football and sports. It is a pleasure to be here and a perfect fit for me.”

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