Messi and Xavi spent more than a decade together as Barcelona teammates, winning countless trophies, and the former captain has now returned to Camp Nou as boss
Barcelona have found things difficult since the summer departure of Lionel Messi, but the return of Xavi to the club has already seen things pick up.
The Champions League-winning captain has taken over in the dugout following Ronald Koeman’s October dismissal and claimed victory in his first game in charge thanks to Memphis Depay’s winner against Espanyol.
There was plenty of noise around Xavi’s move from Al-Sadd to Barca, but some of the most important messages for the 41-year-old came in private as he prepared to take over.
Messi was one of those to get in touch with his former teammate, and the Paris Saint-Germain forward has shared some of the details of what he said to his ex-colleague.
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Messi and Xavi were part of a number of dominant Barcelona sides, most notably during Pep Guardiola’s time in the dugout, and the Spain midfielder was part of the Barca team when Messi made his league debut as a teenager in 2004.
Xavi captained the side to Champions League glory in 2011, a game in which Messi recorded a goal and an assist, and the pair also played together in the victorious 2009 and 2015 sides with Messi scoring Barcelona’s clinching goal in the former.
In an interview with Marca, Messi revealed he regularly speaks to his friend and former captain, including sending him a message congratulating him on the new job.
“I don’t remember what I told him in the message, I congratulated him on this new step and I wish him well,” said Messi, who has also opened the door to his own Barcelona return in some capacity in the future.
“Sure he will do very well because he knows a lot, he is a hard worker and knows the house well.”
With Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain in contention to win their Champions League group if they can beat Manchester City this week and Xavi’s Barcelona battling for second place in theirs, there is a chance the two friends could face off in the new year.
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When asked about Xavi’s capabilities as a manager, Messi suggested the 41-year-old’s knowledge of the club can serve him well at Camp Nou.
“He is a coach who knows a lot, knows the house perfectly and has lived in Barcelona since he was a child,” the Argentine said.
“He has renewed the illusion in Barcelona because he is a person highly respected by the fans and by the players.
“He will be a very important coach for the younger footballers because he will teach them. With him the team will grow a lot. I do not have any doubt.”