- Lionel Messi still has five to seven active years to play before retirement, Xavi Hernandez claims
- The Barcelona legend believes his former teammate will still be fit to play the next two World Cups
- Xavi has been tipped to become Barcelona's manager in the future after spending his entire career at the club
Lionel Messi could continue to play football until he is nearly in his 40s, according to Xavi Hernandez.
The former Barcelona captain has backed his former teammate to continue to perform at the highest level for many years to come.
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"He's still got five or seven very good years left in him," Xavi said of Messi during an Instagram chat with Samuel Eto'o.
"He takes good care of himself and he can keep playing until he's 37, 38 or 39. He'll play at the Qatar World Cup, I'm sure."
Messi is showing no sign of tiredness at the age of 32 and is still regarded by most as the best player in world football with his brilliant individual display.
He has six Ballon d'Or awards to his name as well as 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles during his time at Barcelona, many of the trophies playing alongside Xavi.
Xavi has been linked with a return to the Catalan club as manager and the club legend has that admitted he held talks earlier this year before Quique Setien took over.
"In January, it wasn't the right moment," Xavi said, echoing comments made on the matter earlier this year.
"I had conversations with Eric Abidal [Barcelona's sporting director] and Oscar Grau [Barcelona chief executive] and a big offer, but it wasn't the right moment. I need a bit more experience. Coaching Barcelona is my dream. I'd like to do it one day. I've said that many times."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Philippe Coutinho would have to be bought for £87million this summer, according to reports from Spain.
Chelsea are at the forefront of the deal as Barcelona look set to offload the Brazilian international.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham have also been linked to him, but Liverpool have rejected the chance to take him back.
According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, the 27-year-old will only be priced away from Camp Nou for £87m.
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