Former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez deeply believes Lionel Messi is the most talented soccer player the world has known. For him, even Cristiano Ronaldo is far from his former teammate’s talent.
Xavi Hernandez told Sport Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be compared to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Even if CR7 seems to be close to Messi’s skills this year, Xavi does not believe any player will reach Argentina captain’s level.
Despite Messi’s defeats in the 2014 World Cup, in 2015 Copa America and in 2016 Copa America Centenario, Hernandez insists he is easily the most terrific player the game has ever seen.
"For me, there is no heir to Messi," Spain legend told Sport. "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.
Maxime H. - 19/07/2016
"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.
"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."
"He is still the best in the world, making the difference and putting it in the top corner," he added.
"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."
So, if we understand Xavi's statement, even Ronaldinho wasn't at Messi's level. Well, let's see it...