Lionel Messi not retiring anytime soon, will play 2022 World Cup: Xavi

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 29, 2020, 03.23 PM(IST)

File photo of Lionel Messi. Photograph:( AFP )

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Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi has said that he doesn’t see Lionel Messi retiring before Qatar World Cup 2020 while adding he sees the Argentine maestro play until he wants to.

Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi has said that he doesn’t see Lionel Messi retiring before Qatar World Cup 2020 while adding he sees the Argentine maestro play until he wants to. While Xavi has won everything possible in his club and international career, Messi is missing an international trophy in what has been a trophy-laden career. 

Messi had earlier admitted that he might not be in the international football arena for long but his former Barcelona teammate Xavi is of the view that the iconic left-footed magician will represent Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by Qatar.

Messi has reached the finals of Copa America and FIFA World Cup but Argentine have always fallen short of crossing the final line. With Messi already 33, many have questioned whether he can continue till the World Cup. 

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"I see Leo playing until he wants to. On a physical level, he is fast, strong, he is a competitive beast, physically an animal," Xavi told Marca. "I have no doubt that he will play in Qatar 2022."

Xavi has been also linked to Barcelona’s job after criticism of current manager Quique Setien, however the World Cup winner has backed Setien to turn things around. But he admitted that his main goal always has been to manage Barca one day.  

"I do not hide, and I have always said, that my main goal, when it occurs, is Barca. It is my home and it would be a dream," he said.  "But now I am focused on Al Sadd, looking forward to the new season. When Barca has to come, in the short or long term, it will come. Above all, Quique Setien must be respected and I wish the team all the best."

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"Sometimes Barca plays very well, others well, and others not so well. But I like the idea of Setien, now and with his previous teams - dominate and make an attractive game.  

"Sometimes it is not possible, it is true, but the rival makes it difficult for you. We have seen very nice and very good games of Barca with Setien. Definitely."