Barcelona coach Xavi has opened up on the possibility of Lionel Messi making a return to the Camp Nou to play for the club again before he finally decides to hang up his boots.
Messi is currently at Paris Saint-Germain but there has been speculation he’s unhappy at the French club and would like to come back to Barcelona to finish his career with the Catalans.
Xavi was asked about Messi at a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Clasico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and made his thoughts on the Argentine crystal clear, as reported by Marca.
“He is the best in history and he’ll always be welcome at Barcelona. As long as I’m coach, it doesn’t matter if he wants to come here every day. I think we owe him a huge amount,” he said. “He has a contract with PSG and there is little we can say. Like whether he wants to come here every day to watch the training sessions and talk to the coach. What he has given us is priceless.”
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Xavi Keeps in Touch With Messi
Messi signed a two-year contract with the option of one more year when he joined PSG from Barcelona in the summer of 2021. The forward has scored seven goals and contributed 10 assists in 25 games for PSG so far this season.
Xavi has previously admitted he keeps in touch with Messi and sent his former teammate a message of support after PSG had been knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Real Madrid.
The defeat was a huge blow for the Ligue 1 side who have invested heavily and brought stars such as Neymar, Messi and Kylian Mbappe to the Parc des Princes in a bid to win the European Cup. However, for now at least, the famous trophy continues to elude the Parisiens.
Xavi Previews El Clasico
Xavi also offered his thoughts on Sunday’s big game against Real Madrid. The fixture is the latest instalment between the two great rivals and both teams head into the match in strong form.
Real Madrid have won the last five meetings between the two teams, and Xavi admitted he was not too sure what to expect from Carlo Ancelotti’s side on Sunday.
“It’s very special. It’s a tough and complicated game. Playing there is always difficult. We’re going to attack and play to get three points,” he said. “Madrid are chameleon-like. You don’t know if they will go up or down. We don’t know what to expect. We’ll try to have a lot of possession and play our style of football. Playing at home I imagine they’ll be pressing high up the pitch all game. We have to be prepared for all facets of the game.”
Barcelona have been boosted ahead of the game by news that Real Madrid top scorer Karim Benzema will miss the game because of injury. The Frenchman is in the midst of a terrific season and has scored 22 goals in just 25 league games for Los Blancos.