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L. Messi

Messi's PSG struggles hurt, says Pedri, as Barcelona star hopes former captain returns to Camp Nou

20:55 BST 27/03/2022
Messi Real Madrid PSG Champions League 09032022
The midfielder has been watching his former team-mate in action in France and is sad to see him go through a difficult time

Barcelona star Pedri says he is hurt to see Lionel Messi struggle at Paris Saint-Germain and hopes he returns to Camp Nou.

Messi has so far been unable to replicate his Barca form since completing a free transfer to the French capital last year and the club's fans recently jeered the Argentina star and Neymar.

He has scored just twice in 18 Ligue 1 matches and could not prevent his side crashing out of the Champions League as they lost to Real Madrid in the round of 16.

What has been said?

Pedri has been watching his former team-mate's games in France and is sad to see him go through a difficult period.

"Whenever I can, I watch his matches because you learn a lot by watching the best footballer in the world play," he said to La Vanguardia.

"But it's true that when things don't work out for a friend, as I consider him, it hurts a bit.

"I've had a great time with Leo on the pitch and off it he's a magnificent person so I hope he can come back. I had fun playing with him and it is a joy to have him as a team-mate."

Pedri praises Barca boss Xavi

Just as Messi had a difficult start in France, Barcelona went through a rough patch in the beginning of the season.

Results have improved since club legend Xavi took over as coach in November, culminating in a 4-0 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Pedri says Xavi has helped change his game and is happy with the impact he has had on the team.

"He always tells me to get forward, that any rebound or any play can result in a goal with a loose ball and that I can push on and help the team," the 19-year-old said. 

"And I have to pay attention to him because he's absolutely right, a goal in a play like this helps the team a lot."

He added: "He is a coach who transmits confidence to us in all areas because he knows very well what he wants to do with the team and, as footballers, we understand it perfectly. 

"We know that we have to be able to control the game through possession and that is what he insists on the most."

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