How Xavi imagines his Barcelona with Leo Messi

How Xavi imagines his Barcelona with Leo Messi

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The coach told SPORT about how he imagines the Argentine star would fit in

Xavi Hernandez is the person who has been pushing hardest since he returned to Barça for Leo Messi to come back to the Blaugrana club. The coach extolls the benefits of having the Argentine in his team. During his interview with SPORT, Xavi did not dodge the footballing questions regarding the PSG player.

The first thing he wanted to make clear is that this season's Barça would not change if Messi arrives: "No, it would be practically the same, the same idea and model". In that sense, he understands that "Leo could play in various positions, in various positions: as a false nine, as a winger, as an inside player, even at the base of midfield coming in to make the final pass". 

The coach believes that "Leo has become almost a 'midfielder', almost like a playmaker, and he has that ability in the final third." It is true that "perhaps he has been losing his explosiveness, but we also saw an extraordinary Messi at the World Cup, with explosiveness, no, in the end I think he still has years ahead of him, at a very high level. Today there is no doubt that he would help us".

The defensive system would not suffer

The doubts surrounding Messi's return have focused, in many cases, on the defensive capacity of the player and whether the consistency shown this season would be maintained. Xavi solves the question by assuring that the answer is always "the team. In the end, you can't ask the same defensive level from Dembéle as from Koundé. Often the winger gets tired and do the same up and down in 80th minute as he does in the 20th minute".

That's why he believes that it would be necessary to "compensate with players. In the end, work and obligations are the same for everyone. And we've seen it with Robert Lewandowski, a world-class player, who has adapted very well to our high pressing, to our pressure after loss of the ball, to our low midfield block. It's the same for the players who can be brought in. It's the same".

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