Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has, on Saturday, spoken out over the prospect of club legend Lionel Messi departing Paris Saint-Germain, to seal a sensational return to the Camp Nou.
Messi’s debut season in France, to date, has of course proven an altogether trying one.
After departing his beloved Barcelona for the first time in his career last summer, the attacker was always likely to endure a period of adaptation at the Parc des Princes.
Few, however, could have predicted just how significantly Messi’s production would go on to drop off.
Despite PSG sauntering towards another Ligue 1 title, to this point in the French top-flight campaign, the 34-year-old has managed just two league goals, across a full 18 appearances.
His ensuing woes en route to the club’s Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid last week, meanwhile, even resulted in both Messi and attacking partner in crime Neymar being singled out for boos and jeers throughout PSG’s 3-0 win over Bordeaux at the weekend:
Boos for Lionel Messi and Neymar around Le Parc des Princes 😳 pic.twitter.com/KRyaHTJLLk
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 13, 2022
In turn, speaking during a press conference ahead of his side’s latest crunch outing this weekend, it came as little surprise when the man currently in charge of the club with whom Messi made his name, Barcelona, was drawn on the Argentine’s situation in Paris.
And Xavi, of course also a former teammate and long-time friend of PSG’s faltering attacker, was quick to provide a reminder to all that Messi remains ‘the best player in history’.
Not only that, but the Barca boss went on to hint at a potential Camp Nou reunion, in assuring that ‘the doors will always be open’ to the 34-year-old:
Xavi: “Leo Messi is the best player in history and the doors will always be open here at Barça for him”. 🇦🇷 #FCB
“He deserves a big tribute – and I can’t say much more because he has a contract with Paris Saint-Germain”, he added. pic.twitter.com/CTApHvDHul
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 19, 2022