Messi’s not finished yet, he still has four years left in him - Xavi

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A former Barcelona team-mate of the mercurial Argentine believes the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will remain at the top of his game for some time yet

Lionel Messi is “not finished yet”, says Xavi, with rivals of the Barcelona superstar warned that the mercurial Argentine still has “three or four good years left”.

The South American has already enjoyed well over a decade at the top of the global game.

He has collected five Ballons d’Or along the way and is the firm favourite to secure a sixth in 2019.

A domestic double remains on the cards at Barca, to go with his La Liga top scorer prize and expected Golden Shoe, with a Champions League semi-final exit representing the only disappointment.

Messi has lifted that trophy on four previous occasions and Xavi believes there will be more opportunities to come.

He told Sport when asked if his former employers at Camp Nou should have enjoyed more continental success with an all-time great within their ranks: “That’s more than a few, we only had one before.

“We were able to win more but it’s hard to win the Champions League.

“[Pep] Guardiola’s Barca were better than the rest of the teams and we only won two of four. Chelsea and Inter knocked us out.

“But be calm, Messi’s not finished yet.”

Xavi Lionel Messi not finished

Fears are already being raised as to what Barcelona will do when the day comes for Messi to hang up his boots.

He will be turning 32 this summer, but Xavi sees no sign of Messi's impeccable standards slipping any time soon.

The World Cup winner, who has headed into retirement himself, added on a former club colleague: “We always talk about the post-Messi era, but Leo has three or four good years left.

“At the top level, like now, because he looks after himself, he’s incredibly professional, he’s physically strong, a beast mentally.

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“He’s the No.1 at everything.”

Messi’s 36 goals in La Liga this season helped Barca to successfully defend their title, while they have a Copa del Rey final date with Valencia to come on Saturday.

The Argentine will then turn his attention to Copa America duty, with Argentina facing Colombia in their first game of the competition on June 15.

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