In a candid statement made on his Twitch stream, Xavi acknowledged Messi's desire to avoid the intense pressure that would come with a potential return to Barcelona.
After bidding farewell to Paris Saint-Germain, Messi, a seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, had various options on the table, including a potential reunion with Barcelona or a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia. However, the Argentine superstar ultimately chose Inter Miami as his next destination.
Xavi, who has had extensive conversations with Messi in recent months, noticed a change in the player's mindset in the past few days. He empathized with Messi's decision, recognizing the challenges and expectations that come with being regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
"Messi hasn't had an easy time during his two years in Paris, and now he wants to avoid that type of pressure," Xavi said. "It's a personal decision, and we must respect it. He's the best in history."
The Barcelona coach highlighted the constant scrutiny Messi faced and the immense standards he had to meet on and off the pitch. Xavi emphasized that as outsiders, people often fail to comprehend the weight of such responsibilities and the toll they can take on an individual.
Having joined Barcelona at the age of 13, Messi became an integral part of the club's history. However, the financial constraints faced by Barcelona in 2021 forced his departure. Despite the excitement surrounding the potential reunion between Messi and Barcelona, Xavi explained that the circumstances didn't align to make it a viable option for the player.
"Excitement was generated because we were both talking, we talked a lot, we were all excited – first him, then me, and then the club," Xavi revealed. "But many times, you want something, and the circumstances don't help. He explained it very well. He wants to reduce the level of pressure, and returning to Barcelona would mean being under tremendous scrutiny once again."
In a recent interview with Spanish media, Messi expressed concerns about Barcelona's economic situation, which could have hindered his return to the club. He also mentioned his desire to step away from the spotlight and focus more on his family and personal life while giving his all to Inter Miami on the field.
"I want to enjoy myself again, spending time with my family, day to day," Messi stated. "I'm at a point where I want to step out of the spotlight a bit and prioritize my family."