Andres Iniesta hints at sensational Barcelona homecoming for Lionel Messi

PSG forward Lionel Messi looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between PSG and Maccabi Haifa on 25 October, 2022 at the Parc des Princes, Paris, France
(Image credit: Sebastian Frej / MB Media / Getty Images)

Andres Iniesta says that a return to Barcelona (opens in new tab) is "still a possibility" for club icon and former teammate Lionel Messi, who remains the world's best player in his book.

The Argentine icon has been linked with a move back to Camp Nou pretty much ever since his emotional exit last year – when Barca's financial crisis meant they couldn't afford to keep their star man.

Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG (opens in new tab), meaning he could become a free agent at the end of this season (the deal contains the option for an extra year) – and Iniesta says that a Camp Nou comeback could be on the cards for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta of Barcelona embrace during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Villarreal on 9 May, 2018 at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

(Image credit: Quality Sport Images / Getty Images)

Speaking to Argentine outlet TyC Sports (via Goal), the 2010 World Cup winner – who famously scored the decisive goal as Spain beat the Netherlands in the final – said (opens in new tab):

"The Messi of before and the one of now is different from all. He is number one. The only thing he has done is grow, improve himself, and make his teammates better. A team with Messi has a very important point to achieve victories and titles. I haven't seen anyone do the things he does.

"Going back to Barcelona is never easy, but Leo can come back; it's still a possibility."

Iniesta also backed Messi to captain Argentina to glory at this winter's World Cup in Qatar – which the 35-year-old has confirmed will be his last – adding:

"If Messi is there, of course [Argentina] are one of the favourites ... If Leo wins the World Cup, I'm happy as a team-mate."

Argentina captain Lionel Messi reacts during the international friendly match between Argentina and Jamaica on 27 September, 2022 at the Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey, USA

(Image credit: Elsa / Getty Images)

Messi and Iniesta spent 14 years together at Barca and were both integral members of Pep Guardiola's all-time great side which won the Champions League in 2009 and 2011.

Iniesta, 38, is now in his fifth season with Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe, where he's been skipper since 2019.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...