Lionel Messi news: 'He's not finished yet', says Xavi on Messi's Champions League disappointment
What's the story?
In case you didn't know
Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in a spectacular fashion as they squandered a three-goal lead against Liverpool in the semi-finals earlier this month.
Messi has already won four Champions League titles with the Catalan giants but they were expected to go all the way this season after giants Real Madrid and Juventus were eliminated in the earlier stages of the competition.
The 31-year-old has captained the Blaugrana to a LaLiga title and is expected to complete a domestic double with a win in the Copa del Rey final later this month.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has enjoyed an incredible season with 50 goals in all competitions to his name. His goal-scoring exploits have earned him a sixth Pichichi trophy and he is well on his way to securing a record sixth European Golden Shoe as well.
The heart of the matter
Since Barcelona's Champions League exit, Messi has been heavily criticised for his failure to inspire his team to the finals of the competition.
When asked if the Catalan giants should have succeeded in Europe especially with Messi in the team, Xavi told Sport, "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."
"[Pep] 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. 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."
Barcelona are scheduled to face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday. Messi will then turn his attention to the Copa America with Argentina set to face Colombia on June 15.