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Xavi on Messi to Barcelona rumours after Mallorca win: “He too deserves a farewell”

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Speaking after Barcelona’s final home game of the season, which ended in a 3-0 victory over RCD Mallorca, manager Xavi Hernandez spoke to the media where he commented on the speculations of Lionel Messi returning to the club in the summer.

Sunday night was a special occasion for Barcelona players, staff, and fans as they bid goodbye to two icons in Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, as well as Spotify Camp Nou as we know it.

Alba and Busquets received a thunderous farewell from the Culers at the stadium on the night, and Xavi, too, spoke highly of the veteran duo after the game.

The Barça manager stated it was a great day for the fans and admitted to having mixed emotions, as he said:

“A feeling of happiness on the one hand for all the objectives achieved, for the pace of play and the victory, and on the other for two very emotional farewells of two legends who deserved it.

“They are the best I have ever seen in their positions and we will miss them. They have been exemplary, their involvement has been spectacular.”

Continuing, the 43-year-old said: “I’ve told them that they are lucky because not everyone can say goodbye to Camp Nou like that. I experienced it too, even more so because I left with a treble. To have people recognise your work is priceless.”

Naturally, the talk moved to Messi, who did not get a chance to say goodbye to Camp Nou when he left the club in 2021. And amid links of a return to Barcelona this summer, Xavi said he hoped that the Argentine returns for another stint and gets a proper farewell at the club.

“Messi too deserves a farewell like this, I think we all agree on that, let’s see. We all love Messi, but that doesn’t mean he will come. He’s the best in history and in Barça, it depends a lot on what he wants to do,” he said.

At the same time Xavi also confirmed that this indeed was going to Alba and Busquets’ last match in Barcelona colours and that they will not be playing against Celta Vigo or Andres Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe (post-season friendly), saying:

“We’re giving Busquets and Jordi a rest now, surely they won’t travel to Vigo or Japan… This was their final match as Barça players.”

Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres have been linked with exits this summer, but Xavi refused to give much away regarding their futures, stating that much will depend on the Fair Play situation.

“Ansu has played a great game, at the level of the team, with desire, intensity, goals and work. But let’s see where we are, let’s see if La Liga tells us what we can do. It’s not a message for Ansu, it’s for everyone. Ferran too,” he exclaimed.

“We can’t make any progress. The only definite thing is that Busi and Jordi are leaving. And that we need to find a natural replacement for Busquets. We have the left wing covered with Balde and Marcos.”

With Busquets departing, he handed over the Barcelona captaincy to Sergi Roberto and Xavi backed the veteran to do a great job, as he said:

“Sergi Roberto is a top captain, exemplary, he speaks much more than people think, he is an underrated player and he will be a great captain.”

Recalling the time when he took over as captain, Xavi reminisced: “When it was my turn to take over, the club was in a difficult moment.

“I think we are recovering from a complicated economic and social situation, we are living a new stage and the club is better than where it was before.

“We are leaving the Camp Nou, in a year and a half we will return and at Montjuïc we will need the affection of the people that we have been given here.”

Before signing off, Xavi also said a few words about Alejandro Balde and the injury he picked up against Mallorca last night.

“It’s football, but I was angry because it’s a foul out of place, but sometimes we can’t control the force. Fortunately, it looks like it won’t be that bad because the break is partial, he will spend the holidays recovering.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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