Lionel Messi can weave magic for Barcelona as a 40-year-old, says Xavi

David Cooper - Writer 09:56 02/11/2018
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Lionel Messi and Xavi

For those who fear Lionel Messi is nearing the twilight of his career, another Barcelona legend has insisted there is nothing to worry about.

According to Xavi, Messi can continue scampering around the Nou Camp and tormenting defences until he is 40 years old.

Messi, who turned 31 in June, has just returned to training after fracturing his forearm last month – and it could be argued that Barca didn’t miss him after victories over Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

However, the Argentinian has showed no signs of slowing down in his 15th year as a senior player, netting 12 goals from 12 games so far.

And Xavi – who finally called it quits at Barcelona in 2015 but is still playing for Al Sadd in Qatar at the age of 38 – is confident that Messi will lose little of his spark despite his advancing years.

“Sometimes I think that he can play until he is 38, 39 or 40. He needs very little to be able to do that,” Xavi told Radio Catalunya.

”What do you lose as you get older? Your pace? Well he won’t lose his mental speed. Messi is incomparable.

”I think that he would be able to play wherever he wants on the park.

”He already drifts into the centre of the field and is effective there, as he is at defending too because he is very strong mentally.”

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