Lionel Messi’s return to Barcelona is “impossible,” but Xavi would not rule out a potential reunion and dismissed similarities to two other illustrious Blaugrana managers.
Due to Barcelona’s financial difficulties, Messi’s 21-year relationship with the club came to an end in August when he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
However, the six league goals he scored in his first season in Paris were the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s lowest total since he scored the same number in LaLiga as an 18-year-old in 2005-06.
Messi has just one year remaining on his contract in the French capital.
Though an option exists for a further 12 months with PSG.
And Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he did not believe the Argentine’s Barca story was over on Sunday.
At a press conference, his former teammate and current Barcelona coach Xavi stated that such a move was unrealistic, at least not right now.
Xavi said, looking ahead to Barca’s friendly with Juventus in Dallas on Tuesday:
“He has a contract, and it’s impossible right now.
“Messi is the best footballer in the world and history. President Laporta already said that Messi’s story with Barca is not over, but now is not the time to talk about it.”
Since taking over as Barcelona’s head coach again in November of last year, Xavi has had success on a personal level, guiding the team to a second-place league finish after they had dwelt in ninth under predecessor Ronald Koeman.
After recruiting players like Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, Barca is now anticipated to compete for hardware.
Xavi, meanwhile, is adamant that he does not want parallels to the late Blaugrana managers Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola.
“I don’t have the idea of equalling Pep. What I want is for Barca to win,” he added.
“It’s not a question of ego, and I don’t want to beat Pep, Johan, or anyone. On the contrary, I have nurtured myself from them. I am a student of theirs.
“My dream is to return Barca to the top of the world.”
Barcelona has recruited significantly during the transfer season despite their precarious financial circumstances.
With Sevilla and France defender Jules Kounde reportedly also close to joining.
And Xavi believes the capture of Lewandowski demonstrates the lure of the Catalan giants, adding:
“It’s not for me, and it’s for the club. What I do is speak clearly with the players.
“Everything adds up, but I would say that the club is the one that has strength.
“Its greatness is a magnet for footballers.
“People are excited to play at Barca. The fact that players of the stature of Lewandowski want to come proves it.”
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