Barcelona’s new boss Xavi Hernandez made a positive start to his managerial reign with the Catalan club beating Espanyol by a solitary goal this weekend. The victory is a breath of fresh air for Barca, whose past few months have been quite sloppy.
Xavi’s new stint also saw the return of club veteran Dani Alves to his old club after more than five years. The Brazilian had been without a club due to his departure from Sao Paulo in September.
Now, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has backed Xavi Hernandez to take the club to new heights. The star striker, in an interview with Marca, lavished praise on his former teammate. Messi, who now plies his trade in France with PSG, said the Spaniard is the right man to get Barcelona’s season back on track following a difficult start to their campaign.
Messi said, “Xavi is a coach who knows a lot about the club and can contribute immensely as he knows the place perfectly and has lived in Barcelona since he was a child.”
The star striker was sure Barcelona will grow with Xavi. “He’s a coach who knows a lot and knows the club well.” He also said Xavi has brought back hope to Barcelona and he is a “respected figure among fans and players” alike.
Messi also mentioned that he and Xavi have been friends forever and often speak to each other. “I congratulated him on this new step and I wish him well,” Messi added.
When asked about any plans to return to Barcelona in the future. Messi said, “I have always mentioned that I was going to return to Barcelona at some point because it is my home and I’m going to live there. And obviously, if I can contribute and help the club I would love to come back,” he added.
Messi left Barca for nothing last summer after his contract was allowed to expire. While it looked like a new deal would soon be tabled, but financial issues at Camp Nou meant bad news for Messi. He joined Paris Saint-Germain where he is tied down with the French club until the end of next season, with the option of a one-year extension.