Edgar Davids on Xavi's openness and first hearing about Lionel Messi

Netherlands legend was at Barcelona when Henk Ten Cate told him a phenomenon was on the way

Edgar Davids, Xavi, Barcelona

Davids and Xavi on opposing sides in 2003. Picture by: John Walton / EMPICS Sport

Lionel Messi had yet to taste senior action for Barcelona back in the 2003-04 season, but Edgar Davids says his name was already on many people's lips already.

Netherlands great Davids, who played at Barcelona on loan in the second half of the 2003-04 season as the club turned around a poor start to the La Liga season, told Newstalk's Team 33 that then-Barca assistant manager Henk Ten Cate told him about a phenomenal player in the youth ranks.

"I just saw him when you guys saw him," joked Davids at the Aviva Stadium launch of the International Champions Cup, before continuing: "Ten Cate said 'we have a guy now who's unbelievable." 

Davids partnered Xavi at the heart of Barca's midfield for those months that he was at the Nou Camp and he is full of praise of how the future World Cup, Champions League and European Championship winner proved open to changing his already impressive game for the better.

"I was definitely delighted to play with Xavi and also with Kluivert again and with Ronaldinho," he said.

"With Xavi, he was also open for change and he transformed his game to another level."

You can listen to Davids' quick chat with Team 33 on the podcast player: