Xavi urges Barca to tie Messi down


Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has urged the club to act swiftly in handing star forward Lionel Messi a new contract.

Messi's current deal with the Catalan club expires in 2018 and the Primera Division champions have not yet reached an agreement over a new deal for the Argentina international.

Xavi is confident the 29-year-old will stay at the Spanish side, saying Barca needs the player just as much as the player needs the club.

The former Spain midfielder told TV3: "I am convinced he will sign a new deal. Barcelona need Messi, but Messi also needs Barcelona.

"He looks happy to me, more mature and calm than ever before. I cannot see him changing clubs, but we have to act swiftly.

"It would be a historical mistake for Barcelona not to renew Messi's contract.

"Leo is the best player in history. His importance will become even more clear once he retires."