Xavi delivers verdict on Lionel Messi's Barcelona future

Robbie Copeland
Xavi wants Messi to stay at Barcelona
Xavi wants Messi to stay at Barcelona / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Xavi has backed Lionel Messi to sign a new contract and stay at Barcelona beyond the expiry of his current deal in the summer.

Messi broke Xavi's all-time appearance record for the club on Monday evening but there are growing fears that his time in Catalonia may be coming to an end, despite new president Joan Laporta's public confidence that an agreement can be struck.

But Xavi, currently in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd and who has been fiercely linked with the hot seat at Camp Nou, is hopeful Messi will soon put speculation behind him, arguing that he needs the club, as much as Barça need their captain.

He told BeIN Sports: “Hopefully [he'll stay]. I think Barcelona needs Messi and Messi needs Barcelona.

“It is a matter of time, so let’s see, but hopefully he can continue with Barcelona.”

Messi made his 767th Barça appearance against Huesca on Monday, surpassing Xavi's all-time record, but there was no hint of bitterness from the club legend at the milestone. He reckons it was always coming, and hopes to see Messi put some distance between them.

“You could see that Leo would end up surpassing me," he told Mundo Deportivo.

“If he did not leave Barça it was clear that he would add many more games and he is still young to continue playing, he has a lot of football left, so he can play many more games. It had to be Leo.

“It is fair that the best player in history is the one who has played in the Barça shirt the most times. It is an honour that the best player in the world, and for me in history, is the one who surpasses me.

“Leo is like that, he's insurmountable, you can't compete with him because he always wins.

“I hope he can add many more games as a Barça player and leave a historic figure, I hope that he will be at Barça for many more seasons.”