Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi feels Lionel Messi is the best player the world will ever see and is adamant the Argentina international does not need to win a World Cup in order to be considered the greatest of all time.
Xavi featured alongside Messi at Camp Nou between 2004 and 2015 and he believes his former team-mate is a true force of nature, irrespective of his slender size.
“Leo is undoubtedly the best player I have ever played with. He is the best player I have ever seen and the best we will ever see,” Xavi told La Vanguardia.
“He is the best player in history. He does not need to win the World Cup to be the best. Alfredo Di Stefano and Johan Cruyff did not win the World Cup either.
“Messi does what he wants. It’s one big show. He does everything right. There are two types of speed in football. There is the physical aspect, where Leo is on another level, although Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar also have it.
“And then there is the mental aspect, speed of thoughts. Messi is second to none here. He is always one step ahead of you.
“You see him on the training pitch and you realise how great he is. He never loses the ball. He provides assists, changes the pace of the game, can score with his head, with his right foot, draw fouls. You can try whatever you want to stop him, but when you try to win the ball off him, you’re gone.
“His centre of gravity is incredibly low. He is the perfect prototype of a footballer. He is thin and has unbeatable legs. He is a force of nature, even if he is only 1.70 meter.
“He is at the peak of his game. I felt at my best between 28 and 32. Leo is taking care of himself, more than ever before. He is spectacular.”
Messi has already netted 37 goals in as many games in all competitions for Barca this campaign.