‘We will see’ – Messi return to Barcelona not ruled out by Xavi as he addresses Guardiola comparisons
The Blaugrana boss, who is a former team-mate of the mercurial Argentine, is open to the idea of future discussions with an all-time great
A return to Barcelona for Lionel Messi remains a possibility in the eyes of Xavi, but the current Blaugrana boss is reluctant to be dragged too far into that debate at present as any deal in 2022 remains “impossible”. That is because a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner remains under contract at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain for another 12 months.
If no extension is agreed to that deal then the Argentine superstar could hit free agency again two years on from making a stunning switch from Camp Nou to Parc des Princes, with Barca president Joan Laporta already admitting that he would like to see an all-time great retrace his steps to Catalunya.
Will Lionel Messi return to Barcelona?
Laporta has said that Messi’s “chapter” at Barca is not over and that he feels like he “owes” the South American forward after being unable to finance a new contract in 2021.
Xavi, who once played alongside a legendary figure that followed him out of the famed La Masia academy system, would welcome any opportunity to return a fan favourite to his ranks, but is aware that no deal can be discussed until 2023.
He has said when asked about the return rumours: “At the moment, signing Leo Messi is impossible. He has a contract with Paris.
“We will see in the future. It’s not the time to talk about him.”
Is Xavi the new Pep Guardiola for Barcelona?
Former club captain Xavi is helping to guide Barca back to a level that would appeal to Messi, with Robert Lewandowski the latest superstar to be enticed to Camp Nou after completing a €50 million (£42m/$51m) transfer from Bayern Munich.
The challenge now is for major silverware to be delivered, allowing those in the present to emulate the achievements of those from a decorated past.
It has been suggested that Xavi could become another Pep Guardiola for the Blaugrana, having represented the Liga giants with distinction as a player before trying to rekindle former glories as a coach.
A 42-year-old tactician has said of those comparisons: “I don’t have the idea of equalling Pep, what I want is for Barca to win.
“It’s not a question of ego, I don’t want to beat Pep or Johan (Cruyff) or anyone. On the contrary, I have nurtured myself from them, I am their student, my dream is to return Barca to the top of the world.”
Xavi added on recruitment business aiding that process: “The club is working very hard to keep on making the team stronger. As of now, I am very happy with how the team is training and competing on the pitch.
“Players want to come here because this is an exciting project. We are not in the best place right now, but it is still Barca. My dream is for Barcelona to win titles.”