Lionel Messi is a machine built to play football and can do everything Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets can do while still being himself, according to the former Barcelona midfielder.
The 30-year-old continues to be hailed as one of the all-time greats and will certainly retire as the best player to don the famous blue and red shirt; an exceptional achievement in itself.
Xavi, who had the honour of playing with Messi before leaving in 2015, says the five-time Ballon d’Or winner benefits from the fact that he was ‘built’ to play football and says he can do everything his team-mates can.
‘Leo can do [what] Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Sergio] Busquets [do] at the same time and continue to do Messi,’ he told The Tactical Room.
‘He seems a machine built to play football, with that rubber ankle that sticks to the ball.’
Messi has already won eight La Liga titles and lifted three Champions League trophies with Barcelona and looks set to win more after agreeing a new contract to keep him at the club until 2021.
The contract saw his wages rise to an incredible £500,000 per week and comes with the option for a further year should he continue to prove his worth well into his 30s.
And the Argentine will be able to top up his earnings by around 20 per cent in total if he meets various targets such as winning La Liga, the Champions League and Ballon d’Or.
But his priority between now and the end of his career will almost certainly be lifting the World Cup with Argentina in Russia next year. Success on the international stage remains elusive on his CV with the 2018 contest possibly his last chance to amend it.