The day that Messi was occupying the front pages of the sporting press around the entire world and securing himself half a Ballon d'Or for this 2019, which would bring him to six breaking the tie he's held since 2017 with Cristiano Ronaldo, the best Catalan footballer in history and one of the most intelligent to ever have stepped onto a playing field, Xavi Hernández, was announcing that, at the end of the season, he'll hang up his boots and start a career as a coach. Obviously, coaching Barça is his objective and there are certainly the conditions for that to happen before too long. Who better than Xavi to inject its players with the team's DNA?
The Argentinian has again broken the planet's applausemeter with two goals in the Champions League semifinal against Liverpool, one of them unforgettable and sure to live on in the retinas of everyone who was filling the stadium or watching live on TV. Wizard, genius, footballer from another planet, maestro... His 600 goals as a player for FC Barcelona give him stratospheric dimensions. How much is Messi worth? There's no possible price you can put on the greatest icon of international football who has the names of Barcelona and Catalonia on his boots and who could, who knows, make it possible for Barça to get its sixth Champions League after four years of drought. For that reason, the debate there's been on the Cross of Sant Jordi awarded by the Catalan government to the player has clearly been untimely. Perhaps there are many people who have offered a greater service to Catalonia, its identity and the spreading of its values?
For those of us who enjoyed Guardiola's Barça, it's normal that we cannot look at the current generation with the same eyes. It's not a criticism, just an observation. It's possible that football has evolved so much that, although only a few years have passed, that playing style which remains the one we like the most doesn't bring the results it did before. It would be an explanation as to why Manchester City is always eliminated in the first rounds and doesn't get to the quarter-finals. This Wednesday, at Camp Nou, Barça got themselves a magnificent return of 3-0 which leaves them almost in the final. But the culer, sentimental as he is, was amazed by the English team's playing (he'd have liked his own team to play like that) and is excited about Ajax. However, nobody settles matches like the current Barça, at least, so far.
Maybe Messi and Xavi will meet again. In terms of age it could happen since, at 31, with his maturity on the field and his playing style, the Argentinian has many seasons ahead of him, enough for Xavi to have a chance of reaching the team bench. And, perhaps, time for Gerard Piqué to become club president. Never had a pool of players gone so far, showing their talent isn't just in their feet.