Before to his team’s Europa League round-of-16 second-leg match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, manager Xavi Hernandez promised that doors at the club will always be open for the former Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.
Xavi praised Messi, who is widely regarded as the best player to ever grace the game, and claimed to be in constant communication with the Argentine. He also stated that Camp Nou was and always will be Messi’s home. Xavi said it is up to Messi to decide his future but hasn’t ruled it out being a possibility. He wouldn’t say if he had spoken with Messi about a potential return to his old team.
“This is his home and the doors are open to him. There is no doubt about it. He is a friend, we are in permanent contact. It will depend a lot on him, on what he wants to do in his future, on what the club wants to do as well,” Xavi said about Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, Messi left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, after spending good 21 years at the club where he achieved unparalleled success in addition to winning seven Ballon d’Or titles – considered to be the greatest individual prize in football.
When asked if the recently-crowned World Cup winner be able to fit in the current squad, Xavi said a player of Messi’s stature could fit in any squad.
“He is the best in the world and in history; he would always fit in,” Xavi added.
Messi presently makes his living in France with PSG, who are currently in first place in the Ligue 1 points standings. But, they are currently down 0-1 to Bayern Munich in the round of 16 of the Champions League, with the return leg set for Thursday, March 9 at the Allianz Arena.
Barcelona is prepared to defeat United in an away game
Barcelona will go to Old Trafford on Wednesday to face the tenacious Manchester United after playing to a 2-2 draw at home in the first leg. According to Xavi, United, who have recently advanced with some incredible football performances, will present a more difficult challenge for the traveling Barcelona. Xavi praised the current Manchester United team as one of the greatest in Europe, and he suggested that in order for Barcelona to defeat them at home, they would need to have both attitude and spirit.
“It’s a very difficult game. Manchester United is one of the best teams in Europe. On many levels they are the best United have been in recent years. At Camp Nou, they showed a lot of personality, a lot of character, a lot of pace. We need the mentality to win a big game in Europe,” said Xavi. “It’s a perfect occasion to show that Barcelona can compete against one of the big teams in Europe. It’s a very good opportunity. It’s a test; every game for Barcelona is a test, this one with more emphasis.”
Former PSG star: ‘Messi is a failed deal’
Jerome Rothen believes that Lionel Messi has never fully played for Paris Saint-Germain since leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2021.
” Lionel Messi has been playing quite normally since arriving at PSG,” Rothen told RMC Sport . “It is difficult to say the same about a player who has made such a big mark in the history of football. But unfortunately, that’s the reality regarding his performance compared to what the club paid for.”
The man who has 139 caps for PSG analyzed further: “Messi cannot exceed the standard (of a successful deal – PV) for many reasons. The most certain reason, it is because he feels left out. dropped by Barcelona. Even if Messi says his life in Paris has improved, that’s not the case.”
The future of Messi has recently gained a lot of attention. After his contract with the French capital club expires at the end of June, the striker sporting the number 30 shirt will be an unrestricted free agent. Leo is no longer likely to renew his contract with PSG after the current campaign, according to L’Equipe. The year is coming to a conclusion.
According to Rothen, Messi’s attitude and on-field actions give the impression that the superstar, who was born in 1987, has never truly felt at home at PSG.
“I don’t observe Messi’s delight on the field, save from the free-kick he scored against Lille. He isn’t wholly committed to the club. Luis Campos needs to acknowledge that Messi is not important. a failed transaction since it was too necessary for PSG, “the ex-international for France said.