Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez will retire at the end of the season to move into coaching, calling time on a trophy-laden career spanning two decades.Xavi, who has made a record 767 appearances for Barca and 133 for Spain, confirmed his retirement plans in an open letter sent to members of the Spanish media on Thursday.”This is my last season as a player but I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me as a coach,” wrote Xavi, who has been playing for Qatari side Al Sadd since leaving Barca in 2015.”It has been a privilege to play football until 39 years of age and now I would like to finish the season on a high by winning the Emir Cup and by getting to the next phase of the Asian Champions League.”Xavi made his debut for Barca in 1998 after coming through the club’s famed La Masia academy and soon became the heartbeat of the team’s midfield, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns before joining Al Sadd.He was one of the key players when Spain won their first and only World Cup in 2010 as well as their European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012, eventually retiring from the national team after a disappointing 2014 World Cup.Last month he helped Al Sadd win the Qatar Stars League, the country’s top flight division, and has reached the quarter-finals of the Emir Cup with the team.
The Prime Minister said the church’s capacity for counselling and outreach must be used to aid those affected by abuse, as this represents a “practical way we can start to address the issue of violence… which has become a part of our social transaction”. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called on church leaders to preach against crime and violence, as it is undermining the family structure. Mr. Holness also challenged the church to speak out against family members committing sexual abuse against minors. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called on church leaders to preach against crime and violence, as it is undermining the family structure.“Bring it to your pulpit. We cannot allow much of what is happening, particularly the abuse that is happening within families,” he said.The Prime Minister was speaking at the 13th annual National Gathering of Heal the Family, Heal the Nation, held at the National Arena in Kingston on January 3.Mr. Holness also challenged the church to speak out against family members committing sexual abuse against minors.He argued that much of these kinds of abuse result in the perpetuation of greater physical abuse such as beatings from parents, who are supposed to protect their children.“If you see something like that, it is not right. It cannot be accepted practice in our culture. We must expose it and preach against it. If you see someone suffering quietly, reach out to them,” he encouraged.The Prime Minister said the church’s capacity for counselling and outreach must be used to aid those affected by abuse, as this represents a “practical way we can start to address the issue of violence… which has become a part of our social transaction”.Meanwhile, Mr. Holness hailed the chief organisers of the event, Bishop Dr. Delford Davis, and his wife, Minister Dr. Petrova Davis, of the Power of Faith Ministries International, for staging it over the last 13 yearsFor her part, Custos of St. Andrew, Dr. Patricia Dunwell, also commended Dr. Davis “for his steadfastness of purpose” in conceptualising the event and his commitment to healing the families of the nation.Dr. Dunwell, who delivered an address on behalf of the Governor-General, indicated that strong families represent the foundation of a nation worthy of respect from its neighbours and people of the world.The event was held in partnership with the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches under the theme, ‘Jamaica is God’s Place, So is my House’. It brought together members of a number of denominations to pray for the nation, families and Jamaica’s leadership.Also in attendance were Cabinet Ministers and Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Commissioner George Quallo.