Lionel Messi News: "He's not finished yet. He has three or four good years left,” remarks Barcelona legend on Lionel Messi
What's the story?
In an interview with Sport, Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez remarked that he believed the 31-year-old Blaugrana captain and talisman Lionel Messi is nowhere near finished and had three or four good years left in his tank.
39-year-old Xavi has just announced his retirement from active football after playing for Qatari club Al Sadd for four seasons, since arriving from Barcelona in 2015.
In case you didn't know...
Lionel Messi has shown no signs of age catching up to him, plundering an astonishing 50 goals and contributing 16 assists this season. Despite scoring 12 goals in the Champions League, La Pulga couldnt prevent Barcelona from being knocked out in the semi-finals as English giants Liverpool mounted a stunning second-leg comeback to knock out the Blaugrana.
Messi currently rules the roost in the UEFA Champions League, becoming the Top Scorer and European Golden Boot standings and has wrapped up a record-equalling 6th Pichichi Award (given to the top scorer of La Liga) with a brace against Eibar last weekend.
The Barcelona captain's performances has seen Ernesto Valverde's side romp to their 8th La Liga title in the last 11 seasons and qualify for the Copa Del Rey final, set for this weekend.
The heart of the matter
Speaking about Barcelona's continuous failure in the Champions League since their last title win in 2014-15, Xavi remarked that the Blaugrana have indeed underperformed and probably should have won more considering the firepower they have amongst their ranks.
"That’s more than a few, we only had one before. We were able to win more but it’s hard to win the Champions League. Guardiola’s Barca were better than the rest of the teams and we only won two of four. Chelsea and Inter knocked us out. But be calm, Messi’s not finished yet.”
Xavi went on to comment about Messi's longevity in Barcelona, opining that his mentality and physical condition is good enough to perform at the top level for three to four more seasons
"We always talk about the post-Messi era, but Leo has three or four good years left. At the top level, like now, because he looks after himself, he’s incredibly professional, he’s physically strong, a beast mentally. He’s the No.1 at everything.”
Messi and Barcelona head to the Benito Villamarín Stadium this Saturday to face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final, as they look to secure a second successive domestic double. Messi then heads to Brazil for the Copa America as captain of the Argentina squad.