Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has come to the defense of Lionel Messi’s ongoing run at Paris Saint-Germain.
Ahead of Barca’s upcoming UEFA Europa League knockout stage fixture against Napoli (via Marca), Xavi touched on Messi’s penalty miss in PSG’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg fixture against Real Madrid, where he noted that such criticism for it is “normal.”
“It’s normal being in Paris and being Messi,” Xavi said. “If people only focus on the penalty, it’s normal that there will be criticism.
“I wish him all the best. For me, he will always be the best in the world.”
The Argentine forward missed a second half penalty against Real Madrid, which came after PSG forward Kylian Mbappe won the penalty attempt after being fouled by full-back Dani Carvajal in the box.
Messi sure will look to bounce back in PSG’s upcoming Ligue 1 away fixture against Nantes.
Overall, PSG will have a trio of Ligue 1 fixtures before the second leg of its Champions League tie against Real Madrid, including an away encounter with OGC Nice next month.