Messi is out for two months with a hamstring injury.
"Messi is a really tough guy, mentally strong and he'll return in top form. He's played everything for four to five years, and he's been decisive in all of his matches, scoring two or three goals in some of them."
Xavi also told El Mundo Deportivo: "He's the best in the world but when your body says stop, you have to stop. The most important thing is for him to recover well. For us, he's the best and we need him a lot. In January he'll be in top form and he'll prove that he's the best."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball