If there had been any chance of Xavi staying on at Barcelona, it disappeared after Spain were knocked out of the World Cup. Following the game against Chile, the midfielder began saying goodbye to his closest friends. In the early hours of this morning he sent several SMS messages explaining that his decision had already been "well studied."
The midfielder will go public with his decision upon his return to Barcelona next week, and Barça are considering a testimonial match similar to the one held recently for Puyol.
The club has no intention of standing in the way of their player leaving the Camp Nou following a meeting with the player's agent last Tuesday. He is set to join Qatari outfit, Al Arabi, although some sources report that he is off to the MLS.
Xavi had been unsure of his role at Barça next season and the club were keen to remove him from their wage bill, with the Spain international on a salary of about €13m over the next two seasons.
Xavi joins Puyol and Valdés in leaving the Camp Nou, which leaves Iniesta as the club's only captain. Mascherano, Piqué or Busquets will have to step up to the plate.
Xavi's departure will not only have an impact on the dressing room, but also on the pitch. Without him, the team will lack a certain creative flair in midfield, and with Fàbregas leaving the club too and Thiago Alcántara having left last year, there is nobody to replace the Catalan.