Barcelona’s Doors Are Open To Messi – Xavi

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said on Saturday "the doors are open" to Lionel Messi.

Xavi was speaking during a news conference before of Barcelona’s Clasico against La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. Messi had a terrible season at PSG, but Barcelona’s severe financial condition would make re-signing the Argentine tough.

Barcelona’s expenditure budget was set at -144 million euros in La Liga’s most recent spending limits, which were released last week. It implies that the club will have to make significant savings in order to recruit anybody in the upcoming transfer window.

Messi was let go by Barcelona last year because the club couldn’t afford to extend his contract, putting an emotional close to the striker’s storied stint at Camp Nou.

When asked whether he would allow Messi to return, Xavi said, “He is the finest player in history and the history of the club, he has earned the right to have the doors open to him.” As long as I am coach, the doors are open to him at any time. He is the greatest player in history, and as a club, we owe him a big honor; he deserves it, but he has a contract with PSG, so there isn’t much more I can say.

“If he wants to come any day and watch training or chat to the coach, the doors are open since he is the finest player in the club’s history.” Barcelona struggled for most of the season without Messi, but Xavi, who was promoted in November, has overseen a substantial improvement in form.

True without being harmed Benzema
Barcelona now sits third, on pace to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and will be hoping for a statement win against Real Madrid, who will be missing star striker Karim Benzema. Benzema is out with a calf injury and will not be risked, giving the Frenchman time to heal before the run-in and Champions League quarter-finals against Chelsea.

Xavi said that the loss of Benzema would be a “major setback” for Real Madrid while also confirming that Gerard Pique would be available for Barcelona. “He’s alright, he’s a little uncomfortable, but he’s great,” Xavi stated.

Despite winning their previous four league games in a row, Barcelona is 15 points behind Real Madrid in the rankings, despite having a game in hand. They might overtake struggling Sevilla for second place, but a late championship drive remains unlikely. “We cannot rule out Barcelona; they will fight to the end,” Ancelotti remarked. “Winning the league is improbable,” Xavi added. “I believe it will be tough.”

However, there is a chance for Barcelona to demonstrate that they are ready to compete for the crown again under Xavi next season. “We’ve improved as a team since I joined, but it doesn’t matter since it’s a Clasico and we have to show our individuality,” Xavi said. “It’s an opportunity to demonstrate that we’re in a good place since we’ve had nice successes, but tomorrow is another litmus test, to establish that we can play and impose our game against another strong squad.”

Xavi added: “Otherwise I know the media and they will say the improvement has not been seen in the most important game of the season.”

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