FC Barcelona schemer Xavi Hernández was a star on two counts as the Spanish maestros raced into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night. Xavi was a key figure in Barcelona's impressive 5-2 success against Olympique Lyonnais at Camp Nou – and, before the match, he received the uefa.com users' Team of the Year 2008 award of €100,000.
Score for the Red Cross
Xavi, who also made an immense contribution to Spain's triumph at last year's UEFA EURO 2008™ final round in Austria and Switzerland, was presented with a cheque by William Gaillard, adviser to the UEFA President. He is using it to Score for the Red Cross in support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) rehabilitation project for land-mine victims in Afghanistan. (Click here for more details.)
"For me, this is a real honour to be selected in the team – and to be named captain is also a really great honour. I want to thank all the visitors to uefa.com, and I send everyone my best wishes," Xavi told uefa.com. "For me, it is greatly satisfying to be helping people who need it the most. It is a real privilege to have a hand in helping people who need [help] so much."
The UEFA EURO 2008™ Score for the Red Cross humanitarian campaign raised just over €500,000. A total of 77 goals were scored at the tournament – and with UEFA pledging to donate €4,000 for each goal scored, European football's governing body donated €308,000 itself. Another €200,000 was given by fans in the web-driven campaign.
Xavi helps give hope
Xavi was able to savour a brilliant Barcelona display and is enjoying his football to the full at the moment. "Without a doubt, I believe that I am playing for the best club in the world, with the best players," he said. "And I consider myself a real fan among them. I feel good inside this team and this squad." The ICRC welcome his support. "Football, and somebody like Xavi, do give hope and for us it is really great to have such a player involved," said Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC external resources division.
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