Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta have bemoaned Lionel Messi’s departure from Camp Nou, expressing their sadness over the way he left the club.
Back in the summer of 2017, when Neymar made the decision to leave Barcelona and join Paris Saint-Germain, it was seen as a bombshell the likes of which were not expected to be repeated anytime soon. Four years later, another player has departed Camp Nou to make his way to PSG, and this time, the shock factor has multiplied considerably.
No one in their wildest dreams would have envisaged the scenario of Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona with so much of his career still left. However, in bizarre circumstances, Barcelona were unable to secure the future of their erstwhile captain, despite having reached an agreement over the terms of the new deal.
Nevertheless, the dreaded day did come, with Messi being unveilled as a new PSG player, with the French heavyweights now having added significantly to an already formidable squad. Naturally, such a transfer comes with some shock reactions from all quarters, and Messi’s former partners in crime Xavi and Andres Iniesta are among them as well.
Speaking to The Times, Xavi expressed his sadness over the way Messi left Barcelona, saying, “I’m just so sad for Leo. 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.”
As for Iniesta, he focused his comments on Barcelona and how they must recover from the shock of Messi’s departure. As quoted by Transfer Market Web, Iniesta said, “It will hurt to see him in another shirt. Leo, after all the years passed, represents Barcelona. I don’t know what happened inside, or how it went, but the club will have to recover from this blow.”
Iniesta is right when he says that Barcelona need to recover from this blow, all while they are also trying to recover from their financial struggles, with president Joan Laporta suggesting that they are on the verge of bankruptcy. As for Messi, he is set to begin a new phase in his career and it will be interesting to see if he can dominate European football with PSG.