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 By Ian Holyman

Xavi Hernandez not ready for retirement, hopes to play into 2019

Al-Sadd's Xavi Hernandez
Former Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez wants to continue playing into 2019.

Xavi Hernandez will play on through the end of the year and the former Spain international has told AFP he may even extend his career beyond then.

Xavi, 38, has been playing for Al-Sadd in Qatar since leaving Barcelona in 2015. He had been expected to retire at the end of the season, but the 2010 World Cup and four-time UEFA Champions League winner will keep going.

"I have decided to continue at least six months more," Xavi said. "Because it depends on my physical condition. Maybe in December I decide to continue."

Xavi, who won 133 caps for Spain, had suggested he would focus on obtaining his coaching badges at the end of the campaign.

Al-Sadd, the Qatar Stars League runners-up, face Al-Ahli Saudi in the first leg of their AFC Champions League round-of-16 tie on Monday, and they are also through to the last four of the Emir Cup, Qatar's major domestic cup competition.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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