Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has insisted that club’s talisman Lionel Messi is not retiring anytime soon and would play for the next five to seven years.

“He’s still got five or seven very good years left in him,” Xavi said of Messi during an Instagram chat with another ex-Barca forward, Samuel Eto’o as quoted by Goal.

“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,” he added.

Messi has broken numerous goal-scoring records and has set new ones since breaking on to the scene with Barcelona. He has so far won 10 La Liga titles, six Copa Del Rey trophies and four Champions League crowns with the Spanish giants.

The 32-year-old was at his usual best for Barca this season before the coronavirus crisis brought a halt to La Liga.

The Argentine forward has been named as the best player in the world six times as he has six Ballon d’Or trophies in his kitty. Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo comes a close second with five.

On the international arena though, Messi hasn’t been able to replicate his club form as a major trophy still evades the South American heavyweights.

Messi was part of the team that won the gold medal at 2008 Olympics but since then, he has been into World Cup and Copa America finals, failing to win even one such big tournament.

(With stats and inputs from IANS)