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Barca boss praises Messi after record-equaling appearance

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Messi has already reached the record level of all-time appearances for Xavi at the club and it is very likely that the Argentine will surpass him when the team travels to face Real Sociedad in the league on Sunday.

The 33-year-old celebrated his record-breaking success with another vintage performance in his team’s 4-1 win over Huesca.

He usually scored on two occasions, the first of which was a spectacular shot from distance.

“What else can you say?” Koeman told reporters after the match. “His level for so many years, for so many games […] he is the most important player in the history of Barcelona and, fortunately, he is still here with us.

“I think he has shown that he is the best player in the world. The first goal he scored was fantastic and he deserves to be the center point of this team.”

Lionel Messi equaled Xavi's record for appearances at the club.

Convince Messi to stay

Koeman has previously said he hopes to convince Messi to stay at his children’s club after the Argentine’s deal expires at the end of the season.

Messi is currently free to enter into negotiations with other clubs over a possible play in the summer and it is likely that he will not lack interest.

The Argentine made public his desire to leave last summer, and it seems that he is less and less likely to sign a new contract.

The club and its fans will be waiting for a new president Joan Laporta it can help convince him to stay, as he had previously held the post from 2003 to 2010, one of the most successful times in Barça history when Messi became a well-known name.

“To play alongside Leo [Messi] it is an absolute joy. I like to go and train every day, ”said 18-year-old Pedri, a key figure in the new generation of players coming to the club.

“Whenever I get it, I try to pass it on to him because every time he touches the ball something happens. He’s absolutely crazy what he’s getting. He’s the best player in the world.”

Barcelona’s victory against Huesca, from the lower club, places them in second place in the League, just four points behind leaders Atlético de Madrid.

Although Barça were eliminated from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain last week, the performance shows that now the club may be heading in the right direction.

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