Former Barcelona midfield star Xavi Hernandez has backed his former teammate Lionel Messi in the debate over who the better player is between the Argentine and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi holds the record as five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but Ronaldo is expected to win same number of awards.
“Messi is a master in the collective and individual senses,” Xavi now playing for Al Sadd FC in Qatar told Spanish media outlet Marca.
“But for Ronaldo, that kind of linking up takes a lot. Messi does everything well.
“If a coach were to say, ‘We’re going to play with us all running back’ then Messi would also be the best at that.
“If you ask Ronaldo to play with one or two touches then I don’t know if he would be the best. Ronaldo is [the best] as a shooter, he’s incredible at that and is a historic player.
“But with Messi you cannot compare. He is the best player at Barcelona and he would also be the best if playing for [Diego] Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.”
Messi and Xavi spent 11 seasons together at Barca, winning four Champions League titles.
“Messi makes any player better. The whole group made me better, because I need all my team-mates,” he said.
“I can’t do things alone, I’m not that strong and am better in positional play, knowing where my team-mates are.”