Xavi: Messi will stay at Barcelona

Martin Macdonald
Xavi: Barcelona have not taken advantage of having the best player ever in Messi

Xavi: Barcelona have not taken advantage of having the best player ever in Messi

Barcelona legend Xavi believes Lionel Messi will ultimately remain with the club this summer despite his contract coming to an end in a few weeks.

Speculation surrounding the future of the Argentine has been rampant due to the ticking clock on his current contract.

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Over the last 18 months Messi has become increasingly unhappy at the club, as over the past two seasons they only have won Copa del Rey title to show for their efforts.

In 2020/21 under Ronald Koeman they finished third in La Liga and were eliminated from the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Paris Saint-Germain.

Last summer Messi actually asked to leave before his request was rejected by then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Now that Bartomeu has been exiled and former president Joan Laporta has returned, things have calmed down slightly with regards to a potential exit for Messi.

Laporta confirmed last week that negotiations were ongoing with the Argentine over an extended deal, but did insist it would have to be one the club could afford.

Moves to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have been mentioned, but Xavi expects Messi to remain at Camp Nou, and hopes that happens too.

Xavi

Xavi

"I think he will stay, but it's his word and his decision," Xavi said at the opening of the new Xavi Hernandez Campus at La Masia.

"He has earned the right to decide, he is the best player in Barcelona's history. I hope, as a Barcelona fan, that he will stay."

Does Xavi want to coach Messi?

Due to his status as an icon of the club, Xavi has continually been linked with a move back to become head coach, having cut his coaching teeth in Qatar with Al Sadd.

That would mean coaching his former team-mate Messi, but Xavi, obviously, has no issue with that.

"What coach wouldn't like to coach Messi. He's physically fine... he's still the best," he commented.

"He makes the difference in 0.1 seconds. It would be an enormous privilege [to coach him]."

Last week Ronald Koeman was confirmed as staying as head coach for at least another season.