Keen to address a recent misunderstanding following comments made about the Real Madrid forward, the Al-Sadd playmaker and Barcelona legend spoke to Canal + Liga [as per Goal] about how he really sees the difference between the pair, readily considered the two best players in the world today.
“I argued that Messi is the best in the world,” the central midfielder began, “but I never said Cristiano wasn’t smart.
“In football there two types of speed,” he continued. “There is physical speed, and in this sense, both are level.
“There’s also the speed associated with the partner, to execute a pass, and in this, Messi is the top level. Cristiano…no.”
Xavi ought to know, having played alongside Messi for the majority of his career, and having been one of the Argentine forward’s key creative influences during their mutual time spent together in Catalonia.
Intriguingly, however, the midfielder’s comments come at a time when the legendary South American’s stock is at something of an all-time low, with the attacker currently enduring something of a goal drought.
While few players in the world would be overly concerned with going five games without a goal, Messi hasn’t found the net since Barca’s Champions League Last 16 second leg against Arsenal, and is in the midst of his worst run in front of goal since April 2010.
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