Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu predicts Xavi Hernandez will return ‘home’ and backs Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez for the Balon d’Or.
Bartomeu was speaking at the Congress of Barca Supporters’ Clubs and, as well as discussing the departed playmaker, the current front three and last season’s treble, he looked ahead to the new season and explained the decision not to appeal the fine from UEFA for the display of Estelada flags at the Champions League final.
“We start the season with the memory of the treble. Maximum effort was required and we had to overcome many problems, but we did it,” Bartomeu said, Marca reports.
“Last year we started a new project under Luis Enrique and it worked. We’ve started a new cycle of success and it will continue in the coming years.
“Xavi left this summer and deserved the goodbye he was given. But he will return home. He hasn’t finished his Barca career and has a lot more to contribute.
“We start the year with the dream of the sextuple. We have the challenge of winning six trophies and repeating the Champions League. Messi, Neymar and Suarez deserve to be the three finalists for the Balon d’Or.
“Recently we were sanctioned for the Estelada in Berlin. No one should see the club’s decision not to appeal as a sign of weakness.
“We will pursue the matter until the end, but always thinking of the interests of the club and Catalonia, with the necessary firmness, but with a cool head.
“The best thing for everyone is freedom of expression and everyone’s values and those of the institution are respected.”