'Ronaldo can't be compared to Messi' - Xavi considers Barca man far superior

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Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo
The Camp Nou icon considers his former team-mate to be a better all-round player than his eternal rival on the books at Real Madrid

Lionel Messi is beyond compare, in the opinion of Xavi, with the Barcelona superstar far superior to eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine has been locked in a personal battle with the Real Madrid superstar for the last decade, with the pair enjoying a duopoly of Ballon d’Or honours.

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Both have been able to maintain their remarkably high standards, with new benchmarks being set in the art of goalscoring.

Xavi, though, believes that Ronaldo is all about that skill, while Messi is a much better all-round player and could adapt his game to meet the demands of any side in any era.

The World Cup winner, who enjoyed numerous trophy-laden years alongside Messi at Camp Nou, told Marca: "Messi is a master in the collective and individual senses. But for Ronaldo, that kind of linking up takes a lot.

“Messi does everything well. If a coach were to say: ‘We're going to play with us all running back’, then Messi would also be the best at that.

“If you ask Ronaldo to play with one or two touches then I don't know if he would be the best.

Xavi Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo comparison

“Ronaldo is [the best] as a shooter, he's incredible at that and is a historic player. But with Messi you cannot compare.

“He is the best player at Barcelona and he would also be the best if playing for [Diego] Simeone's Atletico Madrid."

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Barca continue to benefit from Messi’s mercurial talents at present, but he is yet to extend a contract due to expire next summer.

It was announced in July that terms through to 2021 had been agreed, but that paperwork is yet to be signed.

The 30-year-old has already netted three times in four appearances this season, while Ronaldo’s solitary effort came in a Super Cup clash with Barca which saw him sent off and handed a five-match ban for shoving the referee.