'I'm just so sad for Leo' - Xavi regrets seeing Messi leave Barcelona for PSG

Lionel Messi Xavi Barcelona

Xavi has revealed he is "so sad" for his former team-mate Lionel Messi, who was forced to leave Barcelona despite his stated desire to stay with the club.

Messi's move to PSG was confirmed on Tuesday, just days after a tearful press conference during which he said farewell to Barcelona after 21 years.

The 34-year-old said he and Barca did everything they could to sign a new contract, but the deal was made impossible by what the club called "financial and structural obstacles."

What was said?

"I’m just so sad for Leo," Xavi said in an interview with The Times. "It’s a pity to see he and the club couldn’t find a solution. I know that Leo wanted to stay, but in the end it could not be sorted.

"The only thing I can say now is that I will miss him a lot. It’s even hard for me to picture Messi with a shirt other than Barca’s. It’s sad for Leo, especially for how I saw him emotionally at the Camp Nou the other day, but for FC Barcelona as well."

Xavi and Messi's trophy-filled time at Camp Nou

Xavi became a Barcelona legend during his Camp Nou career, forming a vital part of the club during one of its most successful eras.

During Xavi and Messi's time as team-mates, Barca won seven Liga titles and four Champions Leagues before Xavi departed after the 2014-15 season.

A new chapter for Messi

Messi saw his Barca contract expire after last season and appeared set to sign a new deal at Camp Nou this summer, but due to La Liga salary restrictions the club was unable to sign Messi and was forced to watch him depart for Paris.

At PSG, Messi will be reunited with former Barca team-mate Neymar and link up with superstar Kylian Mbappe in what will be an extremely formidable forward line.

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