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Xavi: Lionel Messi Is Better Than Pele, Maradona and Cruyyf

June 6, 2011 By Keesh Sundaresan
Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi has hailed his teammate, Lionel Messi as the greatest ever player to have graced to field.
Despite having players like Diego Maradona, Pele and Johan Cruyff, Xavi believes that football hasn't seen something quite like Lionel Messi yet. The Spanish international believes that Messi is simply the best ever to have emerged in the business.

"He is the best player of all time - better than Pele, [Diego] Maradona or Cruyff. We have to protect him as he is crucial. Without him we would not be what we are."

When asked whether the current Barcelona are the best side ever, he went on to give a very bold and brave statement regarding the Catalans.

Xavi said: "There have been some great teams in history, Pele's Brazil, [Johan] Cruyff's Ajax, [Arrigo] Sacchi's Milan, but in the past 20 years this Barcelona team is the best."

Barcelona were recently crowned European champions for the fourth time in their history after literally tearing Manchester United apart at Wembley. But Xavi was more convinced by United's direct approach when compared to Real Madrid's defensive set-up.

"Madrid were the hardest opponents but not because they played football but because they wanted to destroy the game.

"I like Manchester United's approach a thousand times better. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Real did play."

What are your takes on this matter? Do you personally think that Messi should be recognized as the best ever? Leave a comment below!


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