Xavi deserves the Ballon d'Or, says Keita

The Malian midfielder has voiced his opinion that the influential playmaker deserves to win the prestigious individual trophy
Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita has taken the time to praise his former team-mate Xavi, and believes winning the Ballon d'Or would be the icing on the cake, for the Catalans' star, following an impressive career.

The 32-year-old played a key role in Spain's successful Euro 2012 campaign, and Keita, who left Barca for Dalian Aerbin this summer, feels Xavi deserves to be rewarded for his fine performances.

"Xavi really is an incredible player who has been playing on a very high level for years now," Keita was quoted as saying by La Xarxa.

"With all the titles he has won, he deserves a Ballon d'Or in my opinion. However, it wouldn't change anything about his career if he doesn't win it this year.

"He has been playing at Barcelona ever since he was a child. It would be amazing both for him and for the club if he would retire at Barca."

Xavi's current contract with the Blaugrana is due to expire in the summer of 2014, and Barca are ready to open talks over a new and improved deal.