Barcelona boss Xavi reveals he has reached out to Lionel Messi to ‘encourage’ his former teammate after PSG’s humiliating Champions League exit
- Lionel Messi and Xavi enjoyed major success playing together at Barcelona
- Xavi is now the club’s manager, while Messi has since moved on to play for PSG
- PSG were knockout out of the Champions League in dramatic fashion this week
- Xavi has confirmed that he has messaged Messi since to try to lift his spirits
Barcelona boss Xavi has revealed that he sent his former teammate Lionel Messi a message of encouragement after PSG were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.
PSG held a two-goal aggregate advantage heading into the final 30 minutes of the two-legged tie, but they collapsed in spectacular fashion as Karim Benzema netted a hat-trick to eliminate the French club at the last 16 stage.
Messi has now gone seven years without winning European football’s biggest club competition, and Xavi has confirmed that he reached out to the forward in an attempt to lift his spirits.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick to eliminate PSG from the Champions League
‘I have a friendly relationship with Messi and we are talking,’ Xavi told reporters at his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s league clash with Osasuna on Sunday.
‘I sent him a message to encourage him after the game.’
Reflecting on how Real Madrid were able to turn the contest around, Xavi highlighted the strength in character shown by Carlo Ancelotti’s side, while also pointing out that PSG’s intensity dropped off which allowed their opponents to gain the upper hand.
‘It was a duel that changed in 20 or 25 minutes in which Madrid had faith and desire and turned the scoreboard in a match that was very difficult.’
Lionel Messi has not won the Champions League since he triumphed with Barcelona in 2015
Xavi has confirmed that he sent Messi a message of support after PSG’s disappointing defeat
‘When you lower the intensity a bit, the rival ends up running over you.
‘I think that’s what happened in that game and that’s why Madrid was able to qualify. A bad moment condemns you to the Champions League,’ he added.
Wednesday’s defeat at the Bernabeu was not the first time that Messi has been part of a team that have thrown away a significant lead in a Champions League tie.
In 2018, his Barcelona side surrendered a three-goal lead against Roma, and the following year they did the same again in the semi-finals against Liverpool.
He will not be adding to his four Champions League winners’ medals this year, but he is still set to lift major silverware in the coming months as PSG have opened up a commanding lead at the top of Ligue 1.