The two La Liga giants have been vying for the title of the world’s greatest player for many years, and while Messi has won more individual honours—notably four Ballon d’Ors—both men have accrued considerable team honours during their glorious careers.
However, while many remain split on whether Barcelona‘s Messi or CR7 is the greatest player today—or even the greatest of all time—Xavi has his own opinion, and also argues why he believes the Argentine superstar is the No. 1.
“Cristiano and Messi are both perfect as far as their physique is concerned,” Xavi began, speaking to beIN Sports. “However, as far as teamwork is concerned—passing—Messi is very much superior.”
Xavi:”Cristiano y Messi a nivel físico son perfectos, pero en el tema de asociación, en el pase, Messi está muy por encima” #UniversoValdano
— beIN SPORTS ESPAÑA (@beINSPORTSes) May 1, 2016
Indeed, while Xavi ought to know, both as one of the finest passers of his generation and as a long-time teammate of Messi, it remains to be seen whether he truly is an impartial judge in comparing the pair’s talents.
This season, however, the stats certainly bear out Xavi’s observations.
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While Ronaldo has contributed only 11 assists in 34 league outings, Messi has featured just 31 times—of which 29 have been starts—but he has already managed 15 assists.