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Xavi hopes for ‘many more seasons’ of Messi at Barcelona as Spaniard prepares to lose club record

10:48 GMT 15/03/2021
Messi Xavi composite
One Blaugrana legend is about to see another equal his all-time appearance stat for the club, but summer exit questions loom large at Camp Nou

Xavi is delighted to see Lionel Messi match his all-time appearance record at Barcelona, with the Argentine set for a 767th outing for the Blaugrana on Monday, and hopes that bar will be raised higher and the Argentine icon spends “many more seasons” at Camp Nou.

Another entry to the history books is set to be made by the six-time Ballon d’Or winner before the current campaign comes to a close, with the one-club man emulating the efforts of an iconic former team-mate.

Questions continue to be asked of Messi’s ongoing presence in Barcelona however, as his current contract runs down towards the summer.

What has been said?

Speaking with Mundo Deportivo, Xavi said of Messi matching his appearance haul: “You could see that Leo would end up surpassing me. 

“If he did not leave Barca it was clear that he would add many more games and he is still young to continue playing, he has a lot of football left, so he can play many more games. It had to be Leo.

“It is fair that the best player in history is the one who has played in the Barca shirt the most times. It is an honour that the best player in the world, and for me in history, is the one who surpasses me.

“Leo is like that, he's insurmountable, you can't compete with him because he always wins.”

Xavi added on Messi’s future: “I hope he can add many more games as a Barca player and leave a historic figure, I hope that he will be at Barca for many more seasons.”

When will Messi make his contract call?

Goal has learned that the 33-year-old will not be making any decision on his future until the end of the season. Speculation continues to rage regarding what his next move will be, but the only official confirmation will come from him.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are among those said to be keeping a close eye on developments at Barca with both sides keen on doing a deal, but they are having to be patient as the 2020-21 campaign plays out.

Messi’s record at Barcelona

As he reaches another notable milestone, it is difficult to see anybody getting close to the numbers Messi has posted over the course of a quite remarkable career.

In his 766 appearances for Barca to date, a stunning return of 659 goals has been recorded. Those efforts have contributed to 10 Liga title triumphs and the collection of four Champions League crowns.

His record-matching appearance for Barca will come against Huesca on Monday, before edging clear of Xavi when facing Real Sociedad on Sunday.

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