. The midfielder is leaving the club for Qatar this summer, and supports held up an enormous banner that read: “Thanks Xavi, 17 seasons 1998-2015.”
Xavi then received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Andres Iniesta with five minutes remaining. He responded by blowing kisses to the stands before showing some tears in the dugout after taking his club record to 765 appearances.
Xavi will get one more chance to play at Camp Nou next weekend and add to his club record 23 titles when Barcelona hosts Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. Barcelona will then play Juventus for the European Cup in Berlin on June 6.
Barcelona received an honor guard from Deportivo for its 23rd league crown, and the visitors seemed ready to roll over after Messi headed in Rafina’s cross in the fifth minute and tapped in Neymar’s pass to make it 2-0 in the 60th.
But Lucas Perez gave Deportivo a lifeline seven minutes later with a rising strike from just inside the area, and Diogo Salomao got the goal they were desperately searching for in the 76th.
It was a double jubilation on the Camp Nou pitch after the game as Deportivo’s players celebrated staying up, before Xavi received the league trophy and presented it to the crowd.
“I want to leave with the treble. We want the Liga, we want the Copa and we want the Champions,” Xavi told Barcelona’s supporters. “Thanks for everything. You have made me the happiest man in the world.”