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The former Sweden striker has voiced his opinion that the Spanish playmaker deserves to win the individual award but fears his lack of goals may count against him

Ex-Barcelona forward Henrik Larsson has tipped his ex teammate Xavi to win the Ballon d'Or this year after his stunning performances for the Blaugrana and Spain.

The 32-year-old played a key role in Spain's successful Euro 2012 campaign, and Larsson, who played for Barca between 2004 and 2006, feels Xavi deserves to be rewarded for his fine performances.

“[Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best players in the world. However, Xavi deserves this prize because he’s a wonderful midfielder.

“I think that for him it’s hard because, of course he scored less goals than the Argentine and the Portuguese," he told Mundo Deportivo.

Larsson then took the opportunity to look back on his time at the Catalan club and paid former Barca boss Pep Guardiola the ultimate compliment.

“In Spain they still remember me because I used to hard work to improve our skills. [Jose] Mourinho? I prefer Guardiola," he added.

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