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Samuel Eto’o reveals conversation with Xavi over Barcelona return

FORMER Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o has urged former teammate Xavi Hernandez to go back to Camp Nou while ‘God of Football’ Lionel Messi is still playing.

Spain legend Xavi Hernandez played 767 games for the Blaugrana, scoring 85 goals and contributing with 185 assists.

The six-time Ballon D’Or winner is reaching the twilight of his career and the former Inter Milan striker wants Xavi to take his spot in the dugout before Lionel Messi’s career comes to a close.

Xavi himself is highly regarded in the Barcelona folklore and has been constantly linked with being the next manager at the LaLiga giants since Ernesto Valverde’s sacking.

Speaking to Cataluyna Radio, former Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o revealed that he advised Xavi to not wait long to become Barcelona manager and take his opportunity while Lionel Messi was still playing.

The former Barcelona captain had stated earlier that he does not feel ready for the task of leading the Blaugrana, which prompted the club to appoint Quique Setien midway through the current season.

Samuel Eto’o believes that his former teammate and Barcelona legend Xavi has to go back to Camp Nou and the presence of Lionel Messi will make it easier for him.

“You have to go back to Barcelona while Leo is still there”, because with him it would all be easier. Xavi is a natural leader who knows how to manage emotions and, what’s more, he’s a very good guy.”

“He’s up front, he understands football and I insisted to him: “Machine, you have to go back and try to do something with Messi still there,” he said.

Eto’o heaped praise on the current Barcelona captain, labelling the six-time Ballon D’or winner as the ‘God of Football’. Xavi is currently the manager of Saudi Arabian outfit Al Sadd, where he spent the final four years of his playing career.

Speaking on the prospect of Barcelona signing Lautaro Martinez, Samuel Eto’o said that Luis Suarez has been a great servant for the club and it won’t be easy to replace him.

Eto’o added that while Lautaro Martinez is doing well recently, Suarez is making an incredible story with Barcelona and they both have been lucky to play for the Blaugrana.

The former Inter Milan striker further said that Luis Suarez has written history with Barcelona and people should not forget his contribution. He further stated that the former Liverpool striker is a ‘general’ and if Barcelona want to reinforce themselves, it isn’t necessary to take the stripes away from him.

Samuel Eto’o played for Barcelona from 2004-09

This week,Xavi was officially announced as a new ICON player for FIFA 21.

The Spaniard last featured in the franchise back in FIFA 15, before his move to Qatari side Al Sadd in the summer of 2015.

EA Sports announced the news today on their official Twitter page and FIFA fans are understandably excited about the prospect of playing with him on the game once again.

The numbers on the tweet say it all.

Xavi is rightly revered by all football fans as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

With Barcelona and the Spanish national team, he won every single trophy on offer, including the World Cup in 2010.

During his career with Barca, Xavi won the Champions League on four occasions, making 151 appearances in the competition – the third most of any player.

In total, the Spaniard played 767 games for the Blaugrana, scoring 85 goals and contributing with 185 assists.

His finest season in the famous blue and red shirt came in 2008/09 where he managed to register 20 assists in La Liga – including four in one game against Real Madrid.

The only player to surpass that total is Lionel Messi, with the current Barca skipper notching 21 during the 2019/20 season.

There is now the hope that Xavi will return to Catalonia to manage the Blaugrana and he was linked with the job before Quique Setien was hired to replace Ernesto Valverde.

For now, Xavi is gaining valuable managerial experience as boss of Al Sadd and in the near future, it’s all but certain FIFA’s newest ICON will be sat in the Barca dugout.

Eto’o is looking to move into coaching himself and could potentially return to Camp Nou too, continuing: ‘My dream is to return, but right now I just finished my career and I’m enjoying a long holiday with my family, ready to prepare my future life.’  –