New Delhi: Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez hailed Lionel Messi as the greatest ever player, while also stating his disappointment at the way his friend Iker Casillas left Real Madrid.
Talking to AS.COM, the World Cup winning Spaniard said that “(Cristiano) Ronaldo is a great player, but Messi is the greatest in the history of the game."
Xavi, 35, recently joined Qatari club Al Sadd SC after spending more than a decade with his boyhood club Barca. Having graduated from the famed La Masia academy at Catalonia, Xavi went on to become one of the most celebrated players of modern times. In a glittering career, he won eight La Liga, three Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League, and host of other club titles.
With the Spanish national team, he won the 2010 FIFA World Cup, two Euro cups in 2008 and 2012, besides winning hosts of individual awards.
Xavi, who along with Iker Casillas, served the Spanish national team for a long time, also shared his disappointment at the way his former captain left Real Madrid.
Like Xavi, Casillas too is regarded as one the greats of the game and has won enough accolades with Real Madrid earning a legendary status at Santiago Bernabue.
However, with age catching up with the goal-keeper, the former World Cup winning captain found himself out of Madrid reckoning. And recently, the 34-year-old was allowed to join Portuguese side FC Porto to the dismay of many.
"He is my friend and one of the giants of the game; I am disappointed at the way he left Real. He deserves much better," Xavi rued.