Lionel Messi expecting big things from Xavi as Barcelona manager

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.
Messi obviously knows Xavi well, having spent ten years alongside him in the first team at Camp Nou, and he confessed to Marca that he is expecting big things from his old team-mate.
"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."
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