5 top-class football players for whom Olympics were their first major tournament
- We look at the football players who first played at the Olympics for their national side and then became a regular for their nation.
#2 Xavi Hernandez (Spain)
The Barcelona legend came into the limelight when he featured for Spain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The midfield magician had an outstanding tournament as the Spanish team won the silver medal in the Olympics when they were defeated by the Cameroon side in the gold medal match.
His club career with Barcelona was also on the rise as he was declared the 1999 La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year just before the commencement of the Olympic Games.
Being just 20 years old when playing in Sydney, the midfielder who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, made his first mark on the international circuit. He was then shifted to the senior national team in the same year.
Xavi managed to make 133 appearances for the Spanish national team in his career that spanned 14 years. He also scored 13 goals in those games, but his most crucial contribution to the team was how he controlled the play and made chances for his side.