“Once we shared a room in Japan and he didn’t say a single word”


Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has recalled an incident involving sharing a room with a young Lionel Messi while Barca were on tour in Japan.

Although the tour details weren’t mentioned, Xavi could be referring to the Catalan giants’ tour of Japan in late July 2005. They played a 1-1 draw against Yokohama Marinos.

They beat the same team in Japan two years later, but by then Messi was a major part of Barcelona’s starting XI. Speaking in the ‘Messi’ documentary, Xavi said:

“Leo was extremely shy, we shared a room in Japan and he didn’t say a single word, he was so shy. Because I shared a room with him, he trusted me.”

🗣️ Lionel Messi: “Ronaldinho, Deco, Motta, Sylvinho, Xavi, Puyol… Everyone made me feel like one of them from the start, the way they treated me was amazing.” https://t.co/MfvEaR8ums

He added:

“We adopted him in the dressing room, we said we had to take it step by step. But I think big stars like Ronaldinho saw that this kid could make them better.”

Messi and Xavi have played 399 games together as teammates, winning four UEFA Champions League titles and seven La Liga titles.

In the mid-2000s, Messi gradually rose to prominence at the club and became an irreplaceable part of every Barca manager’s first-team setup. While Xavi left the club in the summer of 2015, Messi left Camp Nou last year to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

He is in the final year of his contract at Parc des Princes, and a return to Barca has been announced. If he secures a fairytale return to Catalonia then it could be the first time Xavi gets to manage the Argentine playmaker.

The Spanish tactician became the club’s manager in November 2021 when he replaced Ronald Koeman, and at that time Messi was a PSG player.

The Barcelona striker dreams of playing with Lionel Messi

19 years ago to the day, Lionel Messi put on a Barça jersey for the first time in a friendly match against Porto. A heroic chapter 🔴🔵 https://t.co/rxUD7TPGJI

Robert Lewandowski left Bayern Munich to join Barcelona this summer. The Poland international couldn’t help his side qualify for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 this season.

Afterwards, many wondered if it was the right decision to leave the Allianz Arena for the Camp Nou. Nevertheless, he could fulfill one of his ‘dreams’ which might not have been possible at Bayern.

Speaking in an interview with MarkLewandowski said:

“He [Lionel Messi] knows how to put the ball in the area, between the lines… he’s the best in the world at that. I don’t know what’s going on at the moment, but for a striker it would definitely be a dream to play with Lionel Messi.”

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Edited by Aatiya Alim Qazi

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