Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has claimed that his former teammate Lionel Messi is ‘the best player in history’ and superior to Juventus star Ronaldo.
At 31 years of age, the Argentine attacker has amassed an extraordinary 511 goals in 473 appearances for Barcelona and become his country’s record goalscorer with 65 goals in 128 games.
Messi has won four Champions League titles, nine La Liga title and six Copa Del Rey trophies, while also picking up the Ballon d’Or on five occasions.
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During his time at the top of the game, he has been challenged by Ronaldo, who during his nine years at Real Madrid, did everything he could to overtake the Barca talisman as the world’s best player.
The Portuguese striker has a trophy cabinet just as impressive as Messi’s and a goalscoring record which matches up to his great rival, but he is still considered by many to be a level below the Blaugrana captain.
Barca legend Xavi is one of those people and he not only believes that Messi is the greatest player alive today but also names him as the best footballer he has ever had the pleasure of working with.
“Leo is the best player I have played with. The only one who can make the difference by himself and in every moment.” The Spaniard told reporters on Tuesday, as per Calcio Mercato.
He was then asked if Messi is better than Ronaldo, to which he responded sharply with a bold claim: “Yes, no doubt. Messi is the best player in the world to me. Actually, he is the best in history.”
The Argentina international picked up an arm injury during Barcelona’s 4-2 win against Sevilla on Saturday, which has seen him ruled out of action for three weeks, derailing his typically brilliant start to the 2018-19 campaign.
12 goals in 11 matches across all competitions so far this term just underlines the fact he remains the most gifted player in Europe, while Ronaldo has been adapting to life with Juventus following his summer move from Madrid.
The debate over who truly deserves to be anointed as the greatest will rage on for years to come, but Xavi’s opinion is shared by most footballing romantics, which proves there is no one else quite like Lionel Messi.