Xavi voted best centre-midfielder in history by Goal readers

POLL: The Barcelona star, who retired from Spain duty on Tuesday, came out on top ahead of the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Lothar Matthaus and Frank Rijkaard
Barcelona midfielder Xavi has been voted the greatest centre-midfielder in history by Goal's readers following his international retirement on Tuesday.

Having played key roles in Spain's World Cup 2010 victory and Euro 2008 and 2012 triumphs, the pass-master chose to step aside from la Roja's set up at the age of 34 following a group stage exit at this summer's World Cup tournament in Brazil.

His victory in Goal's poll was a close one: he edged out Juventus' Andrea Pirlo by less than two per cent (391 votes), with over 20,733 readers registering their vote.

Pirlo, a fellow World Cup and Champions League winner, was the only other midfielder on the list of options still currently playing professionally and the duo bagged two thirds of the tally (66.7 per cent) between them.

Positioned a distant third, Germany legend Lothar Matthaus picked up 2,713 votes (13.1%) while 'Other' was chosen 1,937 times (9.3%), proving that there were plenty of star names who were not named as an option.

Of the remaining 10 selections, only Dutch pair Frank Rijkaard (3%) and Edgar Davids (2.9%) picked up more than 500 votes.

Check out the poll in full below and have your say in the comment section regarding whether Xavi deserves the tag of best centre-midfielder of all-time!