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Barcelona: Xavi and Cruyff react to renewed Messi links

Lionel Messi - PSG
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The Catalans have shown interest in returning Messi as a free agent next summer.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez and club director Jordi Cruyff have embraced the idea of Lionel Messi’s possible return.

Messi left Barcelona after 21 years to join Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021. However, his contract at Parc des Princes will expire next summer, leading to speculations over his future.

The 35-year-old is heavily linked with a move to MLS side Inter Miami. But Barcelona are still in the race to reunite with their former player.  

Speaking about his former teammate, Xavi said on Wednesday: “He is still number one. Cristiano Ronaldo is still among the 3-5 best on the planet as well.

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“If Messi wants to, he can return to Barca at some point, sure. Who wouldn’t like to train him? Any of the greats. In France, Mbappe for example. Neymar, Messi, I would like them a lot.”

Cruyff believes the Argentine’s relationship with Barcelona deserves to have a better ending. 

“It’s clear Barcelona and Messi have to be together again one day,” Cruyff told RAC1. “It may be after his career, but they deserve a final hug, one last dance together.”

Messi will most likely decide his next move after the World Cup. On Wednesday, the former Barcelona star will lead Argentina against Poland, hoping that Albiceleste will secure a spot in the knock-out round.