Lionel Messi will always be welcomed at Barcelona, according to Xavi Hernandez, as long as he is the coach.
Messi left for PSG in August because Barcelona couldn’t afford to renew his contract and had lost its financial stability and was on the edge of bankruptcy and in November, Xavi, former Messi’s colleague at Camp Nou, stepped over as coach.
Messi has had a difficult first year in Paris, where he has only scored two league goals, leading to him being jeered by his fans last weekend following Real Madrid’s Champions League exit.
“I think Messi is the best,” Xavi said at a press conference on Saturday when asked about LaLiga president Javier Tebas’ interview with ESPN, in which he stated that he would like to see Argentina forward back in Spain.
Lionel Messi, the modern-day great, has played the most matches for Barca of all the greats who have played for the club. Messi’s contract with the club expired in the summer of 2021, but the Argentine is close to signing a new deal with the Catalan club that will keep him at the club for another five years.
Following Ronald Koeman’s termination, Xavi has taken over as Barca’s new manager in the post-Messi era. Barca has risen from seventh to third in LaLiga since he took over, but they face a difficult assignment this weekend when they go to league leaders Madrid for the Clasico.
Barca has gone 12 games without losing in the league, and their only two losses in their past 19 games in all competitions have come in extra-time. In January, one of those matches was against Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa.
Even if Barca wins, they will still be behind Madrid by 12 points, despite having a game in hand, a margin that Xavi believes makes it tough to envisage winning the championship.