Xavi: I'm in love with Barcelona's playing style

The Spain midfielder says he could not imagine playing football in any other way while, he believes the current side will be seen as one of the best ever sports teams
Barcelona midfielder Xavi has revealed he is in love with the brand of football Barcelona play and admitted he would like to stay with the club after retirement.

The Spain international has been instrumental in the club's success over the past decade, and says that style of play Pep Guardiola instilled in the players has left him unable to imagine playing any other way.

"I would like to remain in football and, if possible, at Barca. I do not know anything more than football. I have not anything more with my life other than football," he told the Catalan Football Federation.

I think I am in love with this philosophy. I like how Pep led the team, and how Tito [Vilanova] and Jordi [Roura] do things now.

"I'm in love with it, and I could not imagine football otherwise."

The 33-year-old was one of seven Barcelona players to be nominated for the Catalan Athlete of the Year award, and he believes the current side are one of the best sports teams in history, comparing them with the LA Lakers of the 1980s.

"Individual awards in a team sport is unfair. Notice, goalkeepers never have prizes, and they deserve it like the others. Scorers tend to be those who receive the awards," he continued.

"Now we may not realise it, but in five or six years, when all this generation has passed, we will be remembered alongside the Lakers of 30 years ago."

While the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol have remained at Camp Nou throughout their careers, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique both left the club before returning, and the veteran of over 400 matches believes this may have helped their development.

He added: "It possibly means they mature faster as a footballer going to play away. They get to know another kind of football which is more aggressive and more intense.

"I stayed here and it went well, but things did not work at first. Eventually
through stubbornness I got a lot of success, though it would have cost me if we hadn't got those results."