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Xavi lifts lid on when Messi might end career

Xavi lifts lid on when Lionel Messi might consider ending Barcelona career

May 5, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The ex-Blauagrana skipper has predicted when his former teammate will hang his boots.

Former Barcelona skipper Xavi Hernandez insists that Lionel Messi will not retire until he is nearly 40 years old. The ex-Spanish international has stated that the Argentine international has at least five more years to play at the top level.

Since emerging through the ranks at Barca, Messi has successfully established himself as one of the greatest-ever to have played the beautiful game. On June 24, the forward celebrates his 32nd birthday but, despite his age, he is showing no signs of waning.

Before the suspension of football across Europe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Argentine ranked as among the highest scorer with 24 goals across 31 games this season. Out of that, 19 were scored in 22 La Liga matches, putting him on course for a fourth successive Pichichi Trophy.

Lionel Messi's important to Barcelona cannot be underemphasized and, according to his former teammate and skipper Xavi Hernandez, a career spanning beyond the next five to seven years is not far-fetched for the Argentine.

"He's still got five or seven outstanding years left in him," Xavi said in a conversation with ex-Barca star Samuel Eto'o on Instagram Live.

"He takes good care of himself, and he can keep playing until he's 37, 38 or 39. He'll play at the Qatar World Cup, I'm sure."

Xavi, who was tipped to managed Barcelona before the appointment of Quique Setien, also touched on the subject of turning down the move. Earlier this year, the former midfield star revealed that the move came too soon for his relatively young career.

"In January, it wasn't the right moment," Xavi reiterated.

"I had conversations with Eric Abidal [Barcelona's sporting director] and Oscar Grau [Barcelona chief executive] and a big offer, but it wasn't the right moment. I need a bit more experience. Coaching Barcelona is my dream. I want to do it one day. I've said that many times."

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