Xavier “Xavi” Hernández i Creus (Catalan: [ˈ(t)ʃaβi ərˈnandəz i ˈkɾɛws], Spanish: [ˈtʃaβj erˈnandeθ i ˈkɾeus]; born 25 January 1980), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national football team. Xavi came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, at the age of 11. He made his first-team debut against RCD Mallorca on 18 August 1998. Since then he has played 700 matches, scored 82 goals and made more than 180 assists for over 50 players. Xavi is the first player in FC Barcelona’s history to play 150 international matches. He is considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time and one of the best playmakers of his generation.