Xavi keen for Barca renewal

Xavi Hernandez has exclaimed that he is eager to renew his contract with Barcelona and stay with the club ‘for years’.

The midfielder has spent his entire career so far with the Catalans and confirmed to Mundo Deportivo today that he has begun negotiations on a renewal to his deal that currently expires in June 2014.

"I am happy, I want to stay here for years, the club has already contacted me and there have never been problems,” he enthused today.

“I’m calm because they’re happy with me and I am happy here too. I’m a big Barca man, and I want to retire here at Barca.”

The veteran then turned his attention to his side’s start to the season and once more on the differences noticed under Tito Vilanova, when compared with Pep Guardiola.

“The League is going well for us, there’s still a long way to go, but we’d have settled for an eight-point lead at this stage.

“With Tito very little has changed. The thing is that it sometimes depends on how the opposition plays. Every year they are dropping further back, we are practically playing with three quarters of the pitch to ourselves. And that makes things difficult if you can’t get an early goal.

“One difference is personality, the way they get things across, although the philosophy hasn’t been touched. Tito has been with us and Pep for four years.”

Xavi was also again asked for a soundbite on Lionel Messi and on who he feels deserves the next Ballon d’Or award.

“Leo, when he doesn’t score, provides two or three assists … I’ve said it many times, he’s the best, the number one.

“The Ballon d’Or? If you have to pick the best, then it’s Messi, although I feel sorry for Andres [Iniesta] and Iker [Casillas].”

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