An Argentine icon may yet commit to a new contract at Camp Nou, but a former team-mate admits he has looked frustrated at times this season
Lionel Messi has helped Barcelona to an enviable collection of major honours down the years, but Xavi still claims that those at Camp “haven’t taken advantage of him enough” and should have even more trophies to their name.
At 33 years of age, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner is in the process of weighing up his options and whether another challenge should be sought outside of Catalunya before the day comes to hang up his boots.
Xavi admits that his former team-mate has looked “sad” at times this season, having already made one push for the exits, but he remains hopeful that the services of a talismanic presence can be retained as more silverware is chased down.
What has been said?
Ex-Barca captain Xavi has told TV3: “You have to make sure that Leo is happy, because with a happy and content Leo you have a better chance to win titles.
“Many times he has given me the impression that Leo has not been happy on the field, that he has been sad and it makes me sad as a cule that we have not taken advantage of him enough in recent years.
“We had the best footballer in the world and in history and we haven’t taken advantage of him enough.”
How many trophies has Messi won with Barca?
An all-time great who has spent his entire professional career with the Blaugrana, Messi has helped to secure 10 La Liga titles down the years – with another still up for grabs in 2021.
His collection of Copa del Rey winners’ medals has been taken to seven this season, while four Champions League crowns have been captured.
The FIFA Club World Cup trophy has been raised on three occasions, with Messi boasting 35 major honours in total on a stunning CV.
The bigger picture
Adding another entry to that roll of honour in La Liga this season may go some way towards convincing Messi to stay put.
As things stand, his lucrative contract is running down towards free agency.
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are among those said to be keeping a close eye on events at Camp Nou, ahead of a possible move for a modern-day great, but the mercurial Argentine has made it clear that no decision on his future will be made until the summer.