Xavi starts Al-Sadd career with assist, loving life in Qatar


Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi claims he is enjoying football "more than ever" after notching an assist in his Al-Sadd debut.

Xavi played his first match in the Qatar Stars League on Sunday, with the veteran's 12th-minute free kick picking out Lee Jung-soo, who headed Al-Sadd in front on the way to a 4-0 victory over Al-Mesaimeer.

It was Xavi's first professional appearance for any club aside from Barcelona, and the 35-year-old told Marca he loves the new chapter of his life.

"I'm enjoying my game more than ever," he said.

Xavi added he has not dropped his standards in Qatar: "It doesn't matter that I'm here. I still get angry when I misplace a pass. I can't stand it."

Al-Sadd last won the Stars League in 2012-13, while it won consecutive titles in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and Xavi hopes to help the Doha-based club back to the top in Qatar.

But he already is better informed about the task facing him and Hussein Amotta's side.

"I'm really surprised by the standard of football here," the former Spain international said.

Xavi may have won just about every trophy available during his time with Barcelona, but already he is becoming just another player in Amotta's Al-Sadd squad.

"At first the lads in the team were a bit shy around me, but now they even try to nutmeg me," Xavi said.