Messi is the best player in history – Xavi

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Lionel Messi Barcelona Atletico 01092020
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The Spaniard believes the Argentine's consistency has put him above the likes of Ronaldinho and Ronaldo

Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the best player of all-time while Ronaldinho belongs among the greats, according to Xavi.

Messi is a record six-time Ballon d'Or winner and is considered among the modern-day greats, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

His former team-mate, Xavi, has no doubt the Argentina international is the greatest player ever.

"Ronaldinho is at the level of the best, perhaps what he lacked was constancy," the Al-Sadd coach told Globo Esporte.

"Perhaps he lacked constancy in being at his peak. For me, only Messi is above Ronaldinho because of the constancy of the last few years."

Xavi added: "Messi is the best in history, but Ronaldinho is with the best. The rest follow.

"He [Ronaldinho] is with the best – with Ronaldo 'Fenomeno', with Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, that group."

Messi had scored 24 goals in 31 games this season before football around the world was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Xavi, currently manager of Qatari club Al Sadd, has been linked with returns to Barcelona as manager and recently declared it is something he'd like to do when he could be given complete control. 

"I am clear that I want to return to Barcelona, I am very excited," Xavi told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. "Now that I have seen myself coaching I think I can bring things to the players.

"But I made it clear to them that I saw myself in a project that started from zero and in which the decision-making was mine.

"I would like to work together with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty and who are very valid people. There can't be anyone toxic around the dressing room."

Xavi has previously stressed that getting the most out of Messi was key to coaching Barcelona successfully. 

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"He is a player who, if you convince him, he can even be a brilliant defender. He has physical and mental speed. He has everything," Xavi told Ara

"If you convince him to run, what will the others do? They will run twice as much."

Prior to the suspension of La Liga, Quique Setien's side had reclaimed top spot, with Real Madrid trailing them by two points. 

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