• Xavi has claimed Messi will play till 40
  • Xavi and Messi were teammates at Barca for 11 years
  • Xavi currently is the manager of Qatar-based club, Al Sadd

Lionel Messi’s former FC Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez has claimed that the Argentinean will go on to play till he is 40.

Before the current soccer season was halted by the coronavirus outbreak, Messi was in a great form scoring as many as 24 goals across tournaments. Xavi, who played with Messi at Catalonia for 11 years, has said the current Barcelona skipper still has ample time left to offer – both at the club and international level.

“He's still got five or seven very good years left in him. 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 said of Messi during a chat with another ex-Barca forward, Samuel Eto'o on Instagram, as reported by Goal.

Before Barcelona appointed Quique Setien as their new manager after sacking Ernesto Valverde, Xavi had talks with the board but he said it was not the “right moment.”

“In January, it wasn't the right moment. 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'd like to do it one day. I've said that many times,” the Al Sadd boss further added.

Meanwhile, he also expects Neymar to return to Nou Camp from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), where he had joined on a world-record transfer fee in 2017.

“Footballing wise, he's in the top three or five players in the world, no doubt. He can make a difference. Let's hope he returns to Barcelona. I'm a Barcelona fan and I want the best players there,” added Xavi.

Xavi & Lionel Messi
Can Lionel Messi and Xavi lead Barcelona to a memorable win over Milan? Reuters

In the last few months, Neymar has been heavily linked with a move back to Barcelona this summer. However, due to the financial impact the coronavirus has created, Barcelona could struggle to afford Neymar’s labeled transfer fee at PSG. On any given public chance, Messi has not hesitated to express he wants his Brazilian friend back to Barcelona’s dressing room.