Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the best soccer player of all time, according to Xavi Hernandez, who believes Messi is a level above Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona legend expressed his opinion about Messi’s rival with Sport, asserting his former teammate, Lionel Messi, is the finest footballer the game has ever seen, and no one will ever surpass him in the future.
Hopefully, the warm words from another football legend will cheer up Lionel, who recently endured his team’s heartbreaking loss in the Copa America Centenario final.
Xavi said, “For me, there is no heir to Messi. There will never be one. There will be very good footballers, but nobody at Messi’s level.”
“To be at the top for so many years, winning so many individual and team trophies, will be impossible to surmount.”
“In the future, everything will be more equal among the best players.” he added.
The man, who is considered one of the best midfielders of all time, also had his say on “the Messi vs. Ronaldo” debate. And there were no surprises about which side Xavi is on.
Xavi claimed Lionel Messi was the better of the two, suggesting those who understand football would know Messi was the better of the two players.
Xavi continued, “In the future, everything will be more equal amongst the best players. Though now they try to sell the story of the battle between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, those of us who know football, know there is no comparison.”
Despite having unprecedented success at the club level with Barcelona, Messi has failed to succeed with his national team. Argentina was unable to win any of their past three finals, including the World Cup 2014, Copa America 2015, and Copa America Centenario 2016. But despite this gap Messi’s career, Xavi still admired the five-time Ballon d’Or winner emphatically.
The iconic midfielder continued, “When Messi ends his career, there will be Neymar, Eden Hazard and five or 10 players at a similar level, but none with the unquestionable superiority of Messi.”
The former Barcelona captain then expressed his views on how Barcelona should treat Messi to make him happy. Between Lionel’s tax fraud conviction and the failure of Argentina’s national team, Messi has a great deal of stress in his life.
Xavi said, “He is happy in Barcelona, I’m not saying he’s not bothered by some off the field issues, but on the pitch he is still the same player.”
“It is great to have Messi, and he needs to be kept happy and content. Above all, all these issues need to be resolved as soon as possible, so he can start from a clean slate.”
“But really, it doesn’t affect him. If there is someone mentally strong, that person is Messi. He has overcome it all,” he asserted.
Xavi had a clear opinion on whether the club should renew Messi’s contract, and he insisted Barcelona should offer Messi a long-term deal because the forward still has few more years at the top.
Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez have played together for more than eleven years, and few players have had such a close look at the remarkable rise of Messi’s career from a prodigious teenager to the world beater he is today.
On a similar note, as reported by Bein Sports, Barcelona president Joseph Bartomeu recently revealed the club’s intention to keep Messi beyond his current contract, which expires in 2018. According to him, Barcelona will now prioritize resigning Lionel Messi after the team renews Neymar Jr.’s contract. The president suggested Messi’s current contract will not be his last, and football fans will see Lionel Messi in the Barcelona colors in the coming years.
[ Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]