Xavi retires: Former Spain midfielder has 'one small regret', never playing with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes
World Cup winner says it is the only regret of his 16-year career
Xavi has revealed the only regret of his brilliant career is that he never got to play with Paul Scholes.
The midfielder announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday after 133 caps and three major trophies.
The 34-year-old will remain with Barcelona, the only club he has played for in his 16-year career, but admitted not playing with the Manchester United legend is the "one small regret" he has in his career.
"When I think about all I have won with Spain and Barcelona and all they great players I have played with - it is impossible for me to have any regrets," said Xavi.
"Maybe one small regret is that I never got to play with Paul Scholes - but I was never going to leave Barcelona and he was never going to leave Manchester United." Xavi will continue for Barcelona despite his international retirement
Xavi is a long-time admirer of Scholes; in a 2011 interview with the Daily Mail he called Scholes "the best midfielder I have seen" in the last 15 to 20 years.
"In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything," he said.
"He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more."
Xavi will continue for Barcelona, the club for whom he is all-time appearance maker.
When announcing his retirement, Xavi said: "I was going to retire after Euro 2012 but head coach Vicente del Bosque persuaded me to stay on and go to Brazil which was of course a huge disappointment for everyone and myself individually.
"After Euro 2012, it was generally understood I was going to be leaving after Brazil 2014. I hope Del Bosque stays as manager as Spain because I don't think there is a better man for the job. Xavi has won seven La Liga titles and three Champions League titles in a brilliant 16-year career
"I want to thank everyone involved in that team for the way they treated me and the respect and I could not wish for a better time as an international."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Manchester United's Angel Di Maria sells more shirts than Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and every other player in the Premier League
Hector Bellerin opens up on switch from Barcelona to Arsenal
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
- 1 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans