Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta admit it will ‘be hard and will HURT’ to see former team-mate Lionel Messi in a PSG shirt after Argentine’s stunning move… as fallout from star man leaving Nou Camp continues
- Lionel Messi completed his move to PSG on Tuesday, signing a two-year deal
- The Argentine left Barcelona last week after 21 trophy-laden years at the club
- Messi had some of the best years of his career alongside Xavi and Andres Iniesta
- The midfield duo spoke emotionally about Messi’s departure from the Nou Camp
Barcelona’s legendary midfield duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta admit it will be ‘hard and it will hurt’ to see Lionel Messi in a PSG shirt after he signed a stunning £1m a week two-year deal on Tuesday.
The Argentine, who was Barcelona captain and won 31 major trophies during 21 years at the Camp Nou, emotionally departed the club last week after being unable to sign a new deal due to financial restrictions.
And as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner put pen-to-paper on his sensational new deal in the French capital on Tuesday, Xavi admitted he was ‘so sad’ for his former team-mate, whom he won seven LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues with.
Xavi and Andres Iniesta admit it will be ‘hard and it will hurt’ to see Lionel Messi in a PSG shirt (pictured after Messi won the 2010 Ballon d’Or, when Iniesta and Xavi came second and third)
Messi holds the Paris Saint-Germain shirt after completing his move to the French side
‘It’s a pity to see he and the club couldn’t find a solution,’ Xavi told The Times.
‘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.’
Meanwhile Iniesta, who is still playing for Japanese club Vissel Kobe after leaving Barca in 2018, told AFP: ‘I don’t know what happened internally, nor how things unfolded, but the club will need to recover from this transfer.
The trio were the star players during the glory years under Pep Guardiola from 2008-2012
The 34-year-old Argentine put pen to paper on his Paris Saint-Germain contract on Tuesday
Moments before the announcement, PSG teased a trailer showing him in the centre circle
‘It will hurt to see him in another team’s shirt. Leo personifies Barcelona. He was everything, he’s a player who transcends the team. I’ve never seen a player like him and I don’t think I ever will.
‘[Barcelona] will continue to be one of the best teams, one of those that has to be on the summit.’
Iniesta and Xavi were second and third respectively as Messi won the 2010 Ballon d’Or with the trio the star men in Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barca team, as well as Luis Enrique’s 2015 treble-winners.
Meanwhile, Barca fans were critical of president Joan Laporta, as well as LaLiga boss Javier Tebas, after Messi was forced to leave the club in emotional circumstances last week with the fallout at the Nou Camp likely to continue in the coming weeks.
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