Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez said Lionel Messi is better than Pele and Maradona.
"Pele and [Diego] Maradona both made a huge difference, but football has evolved," said Xavi, In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC's Andy Mitten. "The players are better than they were, the game is better. Physically, tactically, technically and psychologically, football is better than ever. And Messi stands out as the best at the best time in the history of football."
He also said that the 'competition' between Messi and Ronaldo has helped both of them win the Ballon d'Or they have.
"But he wouldn't be as good without Ronaldo," he continued. "He wouldn't have won all those Ballon d'Ors. And I don't think Ronaldo would have won them all too. They push each other. The difference between the two is that while they're both great goalscorers, Messi is much more involved in the play of the team."
Xavi who played with Messi at the Camp Nou for many years gave up some information about the kind of person the Argentine forward is.
"He's become a man," said Xavi. "He's shy, but when he has your confidence and trust you see what he's like and he's a very good person. He's a joker, one of the biggest in the dressing room. He's witty, very ironic in his humour. He's intelligent and he's clever. Most of all, he's a winner."