Former Barcelona star Juliano Belletti has admitted that Lionel Messi's departure from the club leaves a huge void but asserted that the club must look to move forward while lending his support for Joan Laporta and Xavi Hernandez. The Argentinean joined PSG, last summer, on a free transfer.
Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona on a free transfer in the previous summer as his boyhood club could not afford to keep the 34-year-old due to their financial woes off the pitch. The Argentinian legend has established himself as one of the best players that football has witnessed during his time in Spain, scoring 672 goals and 303 assists in just 778 appearances across all competitions.
But Messi’s unceremonious end to his tenure at the Catalan club has highlighted Barcelona’s inefficiencies this season as they are struggling both in domestic and European competitions. So much so, that Xavi Hernandez has been brought in to overturn their fortunes this season and usher in a new era at the Camp Nou. Yet despite that, Juliano Belletti has asserted that Messi’s departure was unfortunate but insists that Xavi and president Joan Laporta are the right people to steer them back to the top.
"We know how important Messi was for that club. He is a player who raised the level and improved things for 14 years. It feels almost impossible to achieve this in football. But the club must look ahead with Xavi, president Joan Laporta and their young guys,” Belletti told GOAL.
"Xavi, as a player, showed the world that he was different, and I think it will be the same for him as a manager. He is the man who the club needs at this very moment. I think Xavi and Laporta are the two right people for the moment," he added.