Mum threatened divorce as AC Milan made bumper offer to Barcelona ace Xavi
Xavi's Mum admits only she stood between AC Milan signing the Barcelona star as a young player. The midfielder has won everything there is in the game at Barca, but it could have been very different if Mrs Hernandez had not put her foot down.
Maria recalled to La Vangardia: "He was registered with Barça B, he was 19 years old and had just won the World Under-20 Cup in 1999.
"(Milan vice-president Adriano) Galliani met with Joaquin, Xavi's dad. He guaranteed him a starting place, he followed him to Nigeria where he had an extraordinary tournament.
"We were offered a villa and more than 1 million euros for five seasons. Trips would be paid for, a job for my husband. We analyzed it as family, Xavi is the third of four children, and they were all against me.
"Everyone wanted him to take this opportunity and also complicating things was he seeing Pep Guardiola playing in his position.
"I said: 'If he leaves, I will divorce.' The final decision was still taken by him, however."