Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi is confident that Manchester City star forward Raheem Sterling will be the next best player in the world when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo eventually call time on their careers.
Sterling played an integral role in helping Pep Guardiola’s side complete back-to-back Premier League titles in scoring 25-goals while having already netted six in the current campaign.
Xavi believes that the 24-year-old Sterling will beat a host of up and coming young players to become the next best player in the world.
"Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the best player in the world awards for so many years now, it’s hard to remember a time before them," said Xavi as quoted by FourFourTwo.
"Messi is the best ever for me - and even though they’re both still playing at a very high level, there will come the day not so long away when somebody else must step into those shoes.
"You look at young players who can be crowned the future best in the world and you still think of Neymar, Mbappe, Salah, and of course Sterling. I look at the moment – and Sterling is winning that race."
Xavi added that with Guardiola keeping a close eye on Sterling, the England international has a better chance of achieving greatness.
"He's always been a good player, a dangerous player, but under Pep he become one of the best in the world,” Xavi said.
"I know how Pep works – he would have worked closely with him since his arrival - where he needs to improve and what he needed to work on.
"We’re now seeing the results of that; he’s still young and can be the world’s best."
- Compiled by Tashreeq Vardien