What Xavi Hernandez’s tactical innovation could play major role in Lionel Messi’s Barcelona return?


According to reports, Lionel Messi does not want to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain and may potentially return to Barcelona this summer. Apparently, the Argentine’s comeback to Camp Nou might hinge on Xavi Hernandez’s formation change.

Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, reports in Spain suggest that nothing is set in stone over Lionel Messi’s future at Paris Saint-Germain and his possible stay in France beyond the current season. It was even claimed last week that the Argentine superstar is not close to renewing his contract with Les Parisiens and is instead considering his options after winning the World Cup.

Now, Spanish journalist Gerard Romero has provided fresh information on the 35-year-old’s future, noting that the 35-year-old has still not signed a new contract with PSG. As far as Romero can tell, Messi’s newfound confidence stems from his national team’s victory in Qatar. When the only remaining goal in his career was accomplished, he stopped emphasizing sports and started thinking about other things.

After doing the impossible and winning the World Cup, none of the glory of France or the UEFA Champions League could reportedly excite him like his previous triumphs. In addition, he added that a return to Barcelona is still an option for the Argentine superstar. The reporter even goes so far as to say that Blaugrana manager Xavi Hernandez is ready to welcome his former teammate back.

What role does Xavi play in Lionel Messi’s possible comeback to Barcelona?

A change in the formation, such as the 4-3-1-2 with four midfielders, might pave the way for Lionel Messi’s possible second stint at Camp Nou, reports say. If Xavi were to commit to this formation permanently, they would be able to field a starting lineup that includes Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Gavi without sacrificing any playing time for Messi.

The Argentine star could play as an attacking midfielder and provide offensive assistance for Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele. To counteract Dembele’s inside runs, Messi might play on his preferred right flank position.

Having Lewandowski descend deep into the defensive third suggests that their offense may be more nimble and unexpected than usual. What effect will it have on Blaugrana’s midfield? If Frenkie de Jong is going to be Barca’s starting defensive midfielder, then probably not.

The Dutchman would provide some much-needed speed to the middle, and Pedri would still drop back when necessary. However, if the 35-year-old World Cup winner returns to La Liga and Xavi doesn’t begin playing with four midfielders, one of De Jong, Pedri, Gavi, or Dembele will see a major drop in minutes next season.

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