Though one of them retired from the game almost six years ago, and the other now plies his trade in Japan, though not for too much longer one would expect, both Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta will rightly go down in history as two of Spain’s best ever players.
The Barcelona midfield duo were peerless and beyond compare, however, that’s exactly what Northern Ireland manager, Ian Baraclough, has attempted to do.
Ethan Galbraith, a young Manchester United midfielder who has yet to establish himself in the senior side, has had enormous pressure placed upon his shoulders after Baraclough suggested he was comparable to the Spanish World Cup winners.
“Ethan, over the last six months, we’ve seen a maturity in his play and the way he goes about his work day to day,” he told the official Man United website.
“He’s excelled with the Under-21s and he’s a different type of player to anyone we’ve got in the senior squad.
[…] He has earned his right with the way he has gone about his play for the last six months.
Not to put too much pressure on his shoulders, but he’s our little [Andres] Iniesta or Xavi, someone who can get on the ball and manipulate the ball and find positive passes.
Over the coming years, he will give us a different flavour to the squad.
Although Galbraith is apparently highly-rated, to build him up to such an extent when, at 19 years of age, he’s barely scratched the surface in senior football, is to do him a huge disservice.
Particularly at a club such as Man United, whose fans seem desperate to anoint a new hero at Old Trafford.
Only time will tell if Baraclough’s endorsement has been a curse or not.