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|MADRID Sacha Kljestan USA Jersey , Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona's veteran midfield general Xavi Hernandez said on Tuesday that he is not sure he will end his career with the club.
Although that may shock Barca fans at first reading, it is not a massive surprise given that Xavi will celebrate his 34th birthday at the end of the month and has a contract until the end of June 2016, by which time he will be 36 years old.
Xavi made his first team debut for Barca when he was just 18 years old, but since then his passing ability has developed into an artform and he, more than anyone, can be seen as the architect of the football that made Barcelona the top club in Europe and has made Spain both World and European Champions.
In an interview with 'Panenka' magazine in Spain, Xavi looked into the future and admitted that if he is going to continue playing past 36, he may need to do so at a different club. "It will be difficult to finish my career here. I don't know if I am going to end it at Barcelona, although I would like to. I don't know what is going to happen," he said.
The good news is that after struggling with physical problems in the later stages of last season, Xavi believes he has recovered his physical shape.
"I feel even better than in recent seasons," he insisted, adding that although he doesn't like to be rested for any games, he sees the need to sit matches out now and then.
"I don't want to miss any, but I see the need to dose my efforts a bit more. Maybe in Spain people get carried away when a player reaches 30, but this is the best I have felt in my career. More mature, physically better. It is because I have learned things," he said.
As one of the great passers in the game, Xavi defended Barca's passing game, saying that at times he "feels more frustrated at missing a pass than in missing a chance to score. I am happy plying for Barcelona because of their philosophy," he said, adding that former Barca coach, Pep Guardiola had been "important, " for him, while not holding back on his criticism of former Real Madrid boss, Jose Mourinho, who he said he caused worse relations between the two clubs.
"They call him the 'Special One' because he won this and that, but I don't like how his teams play. I don't think he has left a legacy," said Xavi.
Meanwhile Tuesday saw Leo Messi called into the squad for Barca' s Copa del Rey tie at home to Getafe on Wednesday night.
Messi returns to action after almost two months out as the result of a hamstring injury.
It used to be true that a vacation meant getting away from one's day-to-day surroundings for the promise of leisure and relaxation. While that's still true, today's travelers expect more from the promise.
For previous generations, leisure and relaxation often meant being idle. When the World War II generation wanted to get away, some could afford to be pampered, but most did not do much more than eat, drink, and be merry. It was a generation that was content to spend a weekend camping at a local lake, gamble in Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe, or take a cruise in the Caribbean. Leisure activity was to them, essentially, an unheard-of oxymoron.
Not so anymore. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), baby boomers have, in recent years, embraced greater willingness to travel, and have the resources to do it. But while that much is true, adventure has become a big part of their travel plans.
A recent AARP survey of 1,594 respondents ages 41 to 59 shows that about 55% of boomers consider themselves adventurous, and a whopping 77% feel they are more adventurous than their parents. The survey suggests that huge numbers of seniors are traveling, and that they want to participate in healthy activities when traveling. The baby boomer generation, unlike their parents, is not content to lie around on the beach or get their only exercise playing one-armed bandits.
You can bet that the travel industry is capitalizing on this trend. In fact, a recent relationship between AARP and Travelocity has resulted in Passport, a travel service site aimed at the baby boomer market. There are over 81 million people in the United States 50 or older, which equates to roughly 28% of the U.S. population. It's a segment that controls 67% of the nation's wealth, has more than 750 million dollars in discretionary income, and owns more than 28 trillion dollars in assets. Baby boomers also want to spend that hard-earned money wisely, knowing that self-gratification means eating well, drinking moderately, getting in a good hike or a few good ski runs, and earning a good night's sleep while away from home.
Boomers know how to use the Internet, too, with nearly 40% of them booking their travel on the worldwide web. And, like much of the younger generation, they are looking for ways to streamline their lives, favoring e-commerce sites that allow them to quickly and easily pay for their vacations instantly via credit card, without writing checks or hassling with follow-up phone calls to book tours.
While good diet and exercise is uppermost in the travel plans of baby boomers, they also want intellectual or cultural stimulation, many having identified community heritage, artisan crafts, local theatre, naturalist-led hikes, and wine education as motivations for booking vacations in a given region.
Today's mature travelers, then, are not content to while away their leisure hours idly. They want to learn, feel, see, and do. And they have the desire, tools, and discretionary income to do it.
Author's Resource Box
Russ Beebe is an experienced wine taster and hiking guide who leads naturalist tours in the California wine country. Discover how you can enjoy the quintessential California experience at californiawinehikes.
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