Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world.
Iniesta has been in great form for Barca this season as the Spanish and European champions sit atop of La Liga after 15 games.
Barca are in Japan competing at the Club World Cup and Iniesta was instrumental in their 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao on Thursday, setting up Luis Suarez for team’s second of the match.
While the debate of the world’s best is usually between the winners of the past seven World Player of the Year awards, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Sampaoli believes people are consistently overlooking Iniesta.
“Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world,” he told Locura Deportiva.
“Andres is one of the best in understanding the game, and he powers the rest of the team.
“Messi is a complete player, and he can finish a game himself. Or Cristiano, with different characteristics. One can name plenty.
“Undoubtedly those complete players, like the three Barcelona have at the moment [Messi, Neymar and Suarez], understand each other and have a good partnership on the field, will score 183 goals and win you everything.
“But this is a rare occurrence and does not have much to do with the manager, but the characteristics of the players that are there.
“Andres or Xavi are players that, beyond their capabilities, have a great understanding of the game and lift the rest of the team.”
Iniesta has the chance to win his 26th piece of silverware as a Barca player in Sunday’s Club World Cup final against River Plate.