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The Spain midfielder, who is 34 later this month, replaced Cesc Fabregas with 20 minutes left of his side's Copa clash at Getafe on Thursday to reach his latest milestone

Xavi came off the bench to make his 700th appearance for Barcelona as he replaced Cesc Fabregas in the Catalans' Copa del Rey clash at Getafe on Thursday night.

The midfielder has held the record for official appearances for the Blaugrana ever since overtaking the club's former defender Migueli (549 games) in 2011 and is also well clear of current captain Carles Puyol, who started at Getafe in what was his 589th competitive fixture for Barca.

Xavi made his debut under Louis van Gaal in 1998 and won La Liga in his first season with the first team, when he was also named as the Primera Division's Breakthrough Player of the Year.

However, constant comparisons with then-captain and Spain midfielder Pep Guardiola led Xavi to consider his future with the Catalan side, and he has admitted he was close to leaving Camp Nou early on in his career.

The midfielder's most successful spell at the club then came, ironically, with Guardiola as coach between 2008 and 2012, when Pep's team claimed 14 trophies, including three Liga titles and two Champions League crowns.

Xavi, who admitted this week that current Bayern boss Guardiola vetoed a possible move to the Bavarians in 2008, has also been linked with a possible summer switch to New York Red Bulls but claims he hopes to end his career at Camp Nou.

The World Cup-winning midfielder and twice European champion with Spain is also Barca's most decorated player, having won 22 major trophies since making his debut for the Blaugrana.

After the game against Getafe, which Barca won 2-0 thanks to a double from Lionel Messi, Xavi revealed that the shirt from his 700th game would be donated to the Catalan club.

"The shirt will go in the [Barca] museum," he said. "The club have already asked me."

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