The Barca coach said he is ready for the Argentine to come back to Camp Nou
SPORT interviewed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez. It's out in Tuesday's edition of the paper and here's an advance section of the interview...
Does it make sense for Messi to come back when there has been so much talk of rebuilding?
Yes, it makes sense to me. As far as I'm concerned, which is on a footballing level, I'm in charge of football at this club. For me there is no doubt that if Messi comes back he will help us on a footballing level. That's what I've let the president know. I have no doubt, no doubt that he is going to help us because he is still a decisive player, because he is still hungry, because he is a winner, because he is a leader and because he is also a differential player, differential. We don't have a Barça with the talent of 2010, for example. And what would Messi bring you? He would bring talent. The final ball, set pieces, goals... in the final third, a differential player. Therefore, and the way I want to play, the way we want to play among the staff, for me there is no doubt that he would bring us a lot, but it depends on him. In the end I think Leo has the upper hand at the moment. There is no doubt about it.
Do you talk to him often?
Yes, I talk to him. It's true that we've already won in the post-Messi era and that has extraordinary merit, extraordinary. Maybe it's not appreciated, but the fear we had as Cules was that when Leo leaves, what will we do? Well, Barça have survived. I think we have rebuilt the team very well, and this league and this Super Cup have the spectacular merit of doing it without the best player in the history of this club and of world football.
In your last press conference you said that it was up to him when until now we thought that the key was fair play. What is the key to his decision? Are there doubts in his entourage?
It's difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a player who has won everything. It is difficult, isn't it? I don't know what doubts he might have. Maybe that it's another project, that important players who have a very good relationship like Busi and Jordi are leaving. I don't know, I'm not in his head. With the relationship I have with him, I think I've been very clear. The doors are open to him here. If he wants to come, I have no doubts as a coach, none, none at all. I think he would bring a lot to us. Therefore, and I have already said in the last few days when you have asked me, it basically depends on his personal decision.
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