Xavi makes big 'Messi decision'


Following FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta's latest comments about Lionel Messi, manager Xavi Hernandez has reportedly made a decision regarding a potential return to the Camp Nou for the superstar.

In August last year, the Argentine joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent after Barca made it clear to the 35-year-old they could not offer him a new deal due to their financial struggles. 

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Since Messi's exit, though, Laporta has often sent mixed messages in the media about the player's potential return, having dismissed claims in March that the Spanish side are interested in bringing Messi back as the club are focused "building a new team with young people". 

A month later, the Barca chief changed his tune and publicly stated that the LaLiga team's doors will always be open for the 35-year-old, and he did so once again on the weekend.  

"I don't believe Messi's chapter at Barcelona is over. And I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that chapter is still open, that it hasn't closed," the 60-year-old said in an interview with ESPN.

"... Morally, as the president of Barcelona, I think I did what needed to be done. But also as Barcelona's president, and personally, I believe I owe him one."

According to Spanish publication Sport, Xavi has now decided that he wants Messi back at the club at the end of the 2022/23 season, when his current contract with the French giants is set to expire, and has told the Barca hierarchy of this wish.  

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The Spanish tactician is said to feel Messi can still contribute at a high level and thinks his return would be a massive boost to Barca, both on the field and in an economic sense as the club continues to recover from its dire financial situation.

It is believed Xavi still has an excellent relationship with the Argentina captain too, and wants to see the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner finish his career with his boyhood club.

 It remains to be seen if a return to the Camp Nou for Messi materialises, though, with PSG said to be intent on extending the player's deal in France. 

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