The 32-year-old touched on various subjects, praising Messi, comparing Tito Vilanova with his predecessor, and giving his opinion on Jose Mourinho.
"In the dressing room, Leo Messi is perhaps [one of] the quiet people. An extraordinary person," Xavi said in an interview with Radio Catalunya. "The No. 1. For me, he is the best ever, and has surpassed them all. He is the best by far, and his game is much more important than [that of] Cristiano [Ronaldo]."
Xavi and Messi have helped Barcelona to an unbeaten start in La Liga through seven matches under first-year manager Vilanova, who has stepped in for Guardiola and led the club to strong results. Xavi was
"Pep and Tito, aside from a few differences in tactical issues, are almost equal. Guardiola was closer in practice, and Vilanova is more distant," Xavi said. "Tito has surprised me, because he looks very prepared, with clear ideas and [keeping] the philosophy of the club intact. Without detracting from Tito, [I] miss Pep. For me, he was a reference as a player and a coach. [He] helped me, and has been a leader in the locker room, and he also gave very strong leadership.
The midfielder also took the opportunity to take a swipe at arch-ivals Real Madrid, insisting that Jose Mourinho speculates too much.
"I fit into the game of Barca. I have affection [for Mourinho], as he has been here three years, but their football is not what we want. His [Mourinho's] is more [to do with] speculating, of doing the opposite, so I think that will not go down in history."