West Liberty Boy scouted by FC Barcelona

A 10-year-old West Liberty soccer player is traveling with his family to study and train in Spain at FC Barcelona’s Barca Academy.
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 4:33 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa {KWQC} – A 10-year-old West Liberty soccer player is traveling with his family to study and train in Spain at FC Barcelona’s Barca Academy.

Xavi Hernandez plays right wing for Muscatine’s Pearl City Soccer Club U12B. His family comes from a soccer background in Honduras. Once Xavi was one and a half years old, his parents saw his curiosity with a soccer ball.

“I guess it just runs in the blood of the family,” said Xavi’s mom, Diana. “I would say definitely my husband. Xavi actually started kicking a soccer ball even before he could walk.”

Xavi Hernandez is named after the famous player and now coach of FC Barcelona. He idolizes players from FC Barcelona, and models his game after Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi.

“He’s good,” said Xavi. “He always looks back and forth. And that’s a lot. And he thinks he doesn’t work hard. He works smart. And like, it’s also my position, right wing. He likes doing free kicks. I do too.”

Xavi is averaging 2 to 3 goals per game. His coaches and parents encouraged him to attend a FC Barcelona training camp in Chicago in June with a chance to train in Spain at the Barca Academy. Xavi was chosen.

“We feel very proud, blessed, obviously, that he’s gotten the opportunity to be seen by Barcelona and Real Madrid,” said Xavi’s parents. “It’s a lot of sacrifice. You know, both on his part, our part, a lot of commitment, as a family and a lot of hard work.”

“As he was growing up, the name definitely, obviously had something connected with the club as from the beginning,” said Pearl City Soccer Club Director of Coaching Walton Ponce. “He’s a player that has a lot of flair, a lot of vision and recognition of the game at a very early age. And, again, we are very fortunate to have him be a part of our clubs since his early ages.”

Xavi and his family are traveling to the Barca Academy on November 12. He will train, study, and meet some of the greatest players in the sport.

“Makes me feel good because it’s never happened,” said Xavi. “It’s only like, once in a lifetime. If I just do it, and keep on going, it will come better and better and better.”

At 10, Xavi occasionally will play on Pearl City Soccer Club’s U14B team as well. Xavi hopes to go professional one day and have the same kind of career as Xavi Hernandez did.

“That will be cool,” added Xavi. “I’m basically going to have the same name as him. Or I could also play center mid if I wanted to {like Xavi Hernandez}.”