Lionel Messi is looking forward to seeing what former team-mate Xavi can do in the dugout at Camp Nou.
Xavi took control of Barcelona earlier this month after Ronald Koeman was relieved of his duties, with the ex-midfielder tasked with steering the Blaugrana back towards the top of the La Liga table after an unconvincing start to the campaign.
“He can contribute a lot,” Messi said. “He’s a coach who knows a lot, knows the club perfectly and has lived in Barcelona since he was a child.
“He has renewed the illusion in Barcelona because he is someone who is highly respected by fans and players. He will be a very important coach for the younger footballers because he will teach them. With him, the team will grow a lot. I do not have any doubts.
“I speak with Xavi a lot, since forever. We are friends, we have shared a lot of things and since he left we have kept in touch. I don’t remember what I told him in his welcome message, I congratulated him on this new step and wished him well.
“I’m sure he will do very well because he knows a lot, is a hard worker and knows the club perfectly.”
Messi also took the chance to defend former boss Koeman, admitting that the Dutchman took a lot of the blame for everything that was going wrong at the club.
“It is always unfair to coaches,” he continued. “It was unfair with Koeman, with [Ernesto] Valverde…
“When there are bad results, the easiest thing is to target the coach, change him and not the players. Koeman arrived at a very difficult time in which important players left, but he was able to bring through many young players.
“As I said, the easiest thing is always to blame the coach, and they know that as well because it’s their job.”