Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman and former midfielder Xavi have both sent messages of congratulations to Lionel Messi after the captain made his 767th appearance for the Catalan giants on Monday in a 4-1 win over Huesca.
Messi equaled Xavi’s appearance record for Barcelona in the victory and will claim the record outright on his next appearance for the Catalan giants. Xavi took to Instagram and said it was an “honor” to see his former team-mate hit the landmark.
Koeman added his thoughts and wrote on Twitter that is was an “amazing accomplishment” by the 33-year-old Argentina international.
The Barca boss also heaped praise on Messi after the game, as reported by Goal. He told reporters that his captain is “the most important man in the history” of Barcelona.
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Barca & Messi in Top Form
Barca’s win means the team is now 17 games unbeaten in La Liga, making the Catalan giants the most in-form team in Europe’s top five leagues, according to Sport.
Koeman’s side lasted tasted defeat in the league on December 5 against Cadiz. Since that defeat Barca has won 14 matches, drawn 3, and taken 45 points from a possible 51 on offer.
Messi’s form has been integral to Barca’s resurgence. The captain scored twice and picked up an assist against Huesca to continue his incredible run.
The Argentina international now has 21 La Liga goals so far in 2020-21 which means he has also set yet another new record in his phenomenal career.
All of which means that the team have shrugged off a disappointing start to the season and played their way into title contention. There are just 11 games left to play and Barca must still take on Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou in May.
Xavi ‘In Touch’ With New Barcelona President
Barca’s form means Koeman’s job may be safe for now, but there is still some uncertainty over the coach’s position following the arrival of new president Joan Laporta. The Dutchman only signed a two-year deal when he arrived last summer.
Rumors that Xavi could return and take up his “dream job” as Barcelona boss are never far away, and the former midfielder spoke about the arrival of Laporta at the Camp Nou before the match, as reported by Diario Sport.
“Laporta is a good friend of mine. I know him very well. He is the best president I have ever had. Barça will return to be the best in both sporting and economic results,” he said. “There are problems to solve but he can do it all. I wish him well. I am in contact with him and I am very happy.”
Xavi is currently in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd and is contracted to the club until the end of the season. Laporta has said previously he thinks Xavi is not quite ready to take over at the Camp Nou, although it seems certain he will return at some point in the future.