Xavi has spilled the beans on what he said to Barcelona president Joan Laporta about re-signing the legendary Lionel Messi this summer.
FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has told the club’s president, Joan Laporta, he is certain that re-signing Lionel Messi will help his team grow.
Almost two years after Messi’s emotional departure in August 2021, the attacker is expected to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract this summer, prompting rumors of a potential return to Barcelona.
Laporta has made no secret of his desire to bring the 35-year-old back. The pair are friends again, and the president recently vowed to do everything in his power to make a reunion possible – despite the club’s economic restrictions.
“In terms of what I am in charge of, the football side of things, there are no doubts that if Messi comes back he is going to help us,” Xavi told Diario Sport about Messi’s potential return.
“I have made that clear to the president. I don’t have a single doubt about that because he is still a difference-maker, he is still hungry, he’s a winner and he is a leader.”
What can Messi bring to Xavi’s team?
Xavi played 399 games alongside Messi during his Barcelona playing days. They won seven LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns together until he departed the club in 2015.
Eight years on, Xavi is now the man in the dugout. The former midfielder recently led a heavily-changed Barca team to LaLiga and Spanish Super Cup success.
“We don’t have a team with the talent of 2010, for example, and what does Messi bring? Talent. He is capable of providing the final pass, taking free kicks, and scoring goals. He is a differential player in the final third,” Xavi continued.
“For that reason, and for how I want to play, there is no doubt that he would add a lot. But it depends on him.”
‘The door is open for him here’
Xavi also confirmed he has spoken to Messi, but insisted he is in the dark about his former teammate’s mindset going in the summer transfer window.
“With the relationship I have with him, I think I have been very clear. The door is open for him here. It depends on his personal decision,” the 43-year-old added.
“It would be the same idea and model of play with Messi. Leo could play in various positions: as a false nine, a winger, a midfielder, even at the base [of midfield] to make the final pass.
“He has almost become a midfielder, he has that capacity. Maybe he has lost that explosiveness [he had in his younger days], but we saw an extraordinary Messi at the World Cup. I still think he has years ahead of him at the top level.”
Barcelona play their final game of the season on Sunday away to Celta Vigo in LaLiga.