Xavi: Guardiola and Messi equally important to Barcelona

The Spain international midfielder has voiced his opinion that the two influential figures are both essential in the Catalan team's record of success over recent years
Barcelona playmaker Xavi has voiced his opinion that head coach Pep Guardiola and star player Lionel Messi are equally important to the European champions.

The Argentine attacker stated earlier this week that the tactician's presence at the club is more vital than his own, but the Spain international feels there is no need to choose between the two as they are both key to the Camp Nou outfit in different roles.

"Both Guardiola and Messi are essential. Why pick between the two if they could both still be at Barca for many more years," Xavi told reporters at a promotional event.

"Guardiola has given us a lot as a coach, both to the club and the players, while it's Messi who makes the difference on the pitch."

Messi has been in superb form for Barcelona in the 2011-12 campaign, and has already netted 50 times in official games.

Between November and February, Goal.com published 10 exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Click here to read all 10 extracts. Don't miss it!