Lionel Messi linked with Barcelona return, Xavi reunion

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Lionel Messi is entering the final year of his Paris Saint-Germain contract. Could it prove a mere placeholder for a man who planned to be a one-club man before Barcelona’s finances went kaboom?

Messi has long been linked with finishing his career with either childhood club Newell’s Old Boys or in Major League Soccer.

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But the Argentine megastar who turned 35 last month is being connected with a return back to the Camp Nou.

Xavi is reportedly seeking a Barcelona reunion for the world’s greatest player, believing that the Ballon d’Or collector has plenty more miles left on his often-fouled legs.

Messi’s PSG contract ends at the end of June 2023 and both the player and Les Parisiens are committed to another run in Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League for a number of logistic reasons.

But Messi making a glorious return to Barcelona next summer to lead and (further) teach a group of young Catalan players his ways would be everything traditionalists value about the game.

Pedri, Gavi, and Ansu Fati are all under the age of 20 with ridiculously bright futures. Even given his age of 36 at the start of the 2023-24 season, Messi rotating into a front three that includes Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres, and Fati would be electric.

Of course, this also would mean that Xavi’s 2022-23 went well enough to keep the legendary midfielder in the manager’s chair and desirous of including Messi in the fold.

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Lionel Messi linked with Barcelona return, Xavi reunion originally appeared on NBCSports.com