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INTERVIEW

Sergio Agüero exclusive: Messi to Barcelona ‘a matter of time’ plus Xavi’s ‘excellent results’

The former striker spoke exclusively to AS, opening up on Xavi’s managerial career as well as Lionel Messi one day returning to Barça.

Update:
The former striker spoke exclusively to AS, opening up on Xavi’s managerial career as well as Lionel Messi one day returning to Barça.
Gustavo OrtizDIARIO AS

Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero only managed 4 appearances for Barcelona, but in the typical way that he always did as a player, he showed up when it mattered. Just one goal is written on his tally as a striker in Cataluña, but it came against Real Madrid, and those memories never go away.

The former Argentina forward spoke exclusively to AS and opened up on the current state of FC Barcelona, saying that the club were having a “very tough time” when Xavi arrived as coach. He also spoke about Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi and a possible return to Barcelona one day, saying that he believes it to be “a matter of time” for the club’s all-time top goal scorer.

Agüero backs Xavi to succeed at Barcelona

Xavi Hernández, according to Agüero, arrived at Barcelona during a “very tough time for the club”, one in which financial trouble drastically altered the way things worked at one of the most recognisable institutions in world sport.

The manager’s style has been criticised over a run of poor form during recent games but Agüero assures that Xavi “has Barça in his DNA”, and also admitted that his former team, who are readying themselves for a tough end to 2023, “will need some time to gel”.

The former Manchester City forward is hopeful of Xavi turning things around despite the recent rocky road the club have travelled on, and also keen to understand that changes have already occurred for the blaugrana who, despite the feeling of uncertainty that surrounds Xavi’s future, did indeed win LaLiga last season: “he has been able to deliver excellent results in a short time” says Kun, before adding that “he’s a young manager [who] assembled a team that combines seasoned players with young talents”.

Poor results for Barcelona in recent weeks have seen Xavi's future questioned. Kun Agüero does not agree.
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Poor results for Barcelona in recent weeks have seen Xavi's future questioned. Kun Agüero does not agree.AXEL HEIMKENAFP

Messi ‘loves Barça’ and ‘feels identified with the club’

The questions moved on to Kun Agüero’s friend and former Albiceleste teammate, Lionel Messi, who recently won his 8th Ballon d’Or and who Agüero simply calls “the best player of all time”. The World Cup winning captain has taken MLS by storm ever since his move from PSG.

But of course, it was Barcelona where Messi made his name and ever since he left the club in tears, the rumours have not gone away of him one day returning to Cataluña. “Leo always said that he loves Barcelona”, Agüero told AS, before saying that Messi is still, despite leaving under difficult circumstances, “very identified with the club and city”.

On whether or not Messi will actually return to Spain, Agüero points out that two “haven’t discussed” specifically about the 36-year-old going back after he retires as a professional footballer.

Recently, David Beckham revealed his plans for Messi post-retirement, but Agüero thinks differently, saying that the feeling the MLS star has for his former club lives on and that “sometimes I just think it’s a matter of timebefore he’s back at Barcelona.

When is Barcelona’s next game?

As for Barcelona’s next game, they play Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday 25 November 2023, with kick-off at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT. For that game, Xavi has some key questions to answer regarding who he will select as various players are doubtful due to injuries, with the likes of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen looking unlikely to make the cut.

Questions conducted with Stake.com.

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