Xavi has said that Cesc Fábregas’s move to Chelsea is “great news” for his Spain and Barcelona team-mate, but a “big loss” for the Catalan club.

Speaking at Spain’s World Cup training camp shortly after Fábregas confirmed the deal on the Barcelona website, the national team vice-captain said: “It’s great news for Cesc. He is happy, he looked contented to me.

“It’s a great opportunity to go to a great team and that was his idea. He may be more relaxed now that he knows his future.

“It’s a big loss for us but he decided. As a good friend of his, I wish him the very best and all the luck in the world.”

The World Cup holders begin their Group B campaign against Holland on Friday night, and Xavi admitted they would have preffered an easier opener. “We arrived here with a lot of enthusiasm even though we know the group will be very difficult,” he said. “Starting off against the previous runners-up is not easy. But we got here by remaining faithful to our style and so it will continue. Hopefully our style of play will bring us more success.

“We want to be the leaders and have control of the ball. The players that we have here adapt perfectly to our philosophy. We will die playing this style. I hope we can enjoy the same success.”