Xavi: "Ronaldo says he's the best but it's Messi, it's quite obvious"

BARCELONA

Xavi: "Ronaldo says he's the best but it's Messi, it's quite obvious"

"Cristiano dice que es el mejor de la historia…; el mejor es Messi”.

PATRIK STOLLARZ

AFP

The former Barcelona captain spoke on the radio in Catalonia and discussed Pep's Manchester City along with the debate over Messi and Ronaldo as the world's best.

Barcelona

Xavi Hernández, former captain of Barcelona and club legend, spoke to Tot Costa de Catalunya Ràdio three days before el Clásico. As usual, no topic was off limits and here is some of the interview with Jordi Costa and Sònia Gelmà.

Real Madrid: "I don't know if they have relaxed or not but they won LaLiga, Champions League and the SuperCup so assuredly. That could be the reason for them not being at their level but Real Madrid are difficult to kill off." 

Praise for the manager: "I like the idea of Valverde's football. I think that years back, Barcelona lost their style. His idea represents a return to that philosophy, the one we all like."

Valverde's assistant: "It's not my idea to be Valverde's assistant but I am learning from many managers and many philosophies because when you leave Barca, you see others ways to view football but my idea of football is closely tied to Barca's."

Players that remind him of himself: "There are many players. Those at Man City like Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, all of them are at the highest level. If you see PSG, there are many players that would fit into Barcelona's scheme. There are also players with Barca's DNA like Cazorla and Cesc."

Arthur: "I haven't seen Arthur. I saw a video that the media uploaded though and in that, I saw the profile of Busquets and Iniesta."

Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Guardiola and his Manchester City side: "City are the most in form side in Europe. Pep found the formula for how he wanted to play. It's an obsession with his ideas, very methodical. And the players are doing well. The players touch the ball between 70 and 90 times. They will all tell you now that there are really enjoying themselves. The whole world is smitten. His DNA is that of Barca, as Tito said, any comparisonwith Pep is lost. He is brilliant, unique, an esteemed coach. He can get his message across, he has personality. Barcelona have signed managers with the Barca DNA. If we start signing managers without that, then we will start to mess things up."

Champions League favourites: "In the Champions League, City, Barca, Real Madrid and Bayern under Heynches now. PSG, the one who eliminates the other in the PSG-Madrid game will be a favourite because that is a massive exit. Barca will have nothing easy."

Messi: "I imagine all of the managers in the world going out to stop Messi. Even if you do what Athletic Club did, man-mark him like in the Copa del Rey final, they still come out on top. He can't be defended against. Messi is the difference-maker and we always tried to give the ball to him in space with time to unbalance them. Messi is the player that makes the most difference in the world. It's more than obvious." 

Messi and Ronaldo: "Messi does more things compared to Cristiano. Messi is the best. If Cristiano considers himself the best player in history, that's fine, but those of us who see him train, there is no comparison. Messi is the best in history and we don't see it any other way."

Iniesta and when he will leave: "The last year with Tata, I saw it more difficult to recover. Luis Enrique convinced me that I could recover and that year, I knew. I don't think Andrés has that feeling yet and he is a starter. He still makes the play and the difference, in the build-up. I don't see it changing yet, a lot would have to happen. He is 33 years old and I was 35. He has the feeling to continue but you get to the point when you can see it. You don't see yourself as being useful and you step aside. He has to decide and he will see that in the future."

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