The Spanish government has granted Xavi Hernandez and Iker Casillas the Grand Cross for Sporting Merit – the country’s highest sporting distinction.
Following a cabinet meeting on Friday, Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, announced the news, citing that “Iker and Xavi’s CV are universally known”.
“They have distinguished themselves in playing sport and the advocating and teaching of physical education [in Spain],” she added.
The proposals were headed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, Inigo Mendez de Vigo and President of the Higher Sports Council, Miguel Cardenal.
Goalkeeper Casillas spent 25 years at Real Madrid, while midfielder Xavi become Barcelona’s record appearance holder last season with 768 matches.
The pair of veterans also played instrumental roles in La Roja’s historic Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and World Cup 2010 triumphs.
However, neither will appear in Spanish football next season, with Casillas joining Porto and Xavi preparing to turn out for Qatari side Al Sadd.