Xavi reveals Lionel Messi message after accepting Barcelona job as new coach says he rejected Brazil

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Lionel Messi contacted Xavi to wish the new Barcelona coach good luck, the club legend has revealed ahead of taking on one of the biggest jobs in football.

The Catalans have suffered a crisis of confidence since losing their talismanic forward to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, with a financial crisis long in the making also severely impacting their prospects.

But the return of the Spanish former midfielder, who won eight LaLiga and four Champions League titles as a player, harks back to better days when Xavi, Messi and Co tore up European football.

“Messi sent me a message offering me good luck,” Xavi said at his presentation on Monday.

“He is the best player in the history of the club but he is not here anymore. We have the players that we have and we will work with them.”

Xavi also revealed that he wanted to one day manage Barcelona so badly that, in the summer, he passed up the chance to coach Brazil.

“We spoke with the Brazilian federation,” he said after leaving his job with Qatari club Al Sadd. “The idea was to be an assistant to [head coach] Tite and to take over the squad after the Qatar World Cup.

“But my desire was to come to Barcelona. I waited until the right moment and I think this is the right moment. I feel I am very well prepared now.”

Xavi, who turned down Barcelona last year because he felt he wasn’t fully prepared to take over at the time, was introduced at a reception usually offered only to top players. A crowd of nearly 10,000 chanted his name and waved club flags in the stands.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I am very excited,” Xavi told the supporters. “We are the best club in the world and we will work hard to be successful. Barcelona can’t be satisfied with draws or losses. We have to win every match.”

The 41-year-old Xavi, who signed a contract until June 2024, waved back and sent kisses to the crowd after entering the field alongside club president Joan Laporta.

“I have a big advantage because I know the club well,” he said.

“Barcelona is the most difficult club in the world because you have to win and you have to play well. Winning 1-0 is not enough. We will try to win and to play well.”

Additional reporting by AP.

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