Barcelona legend, Xavi believes Raheem Sterling is a far better player than any of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mohammed Salah.
Xavi believes Sterling is the next big thing after Ronaldo and Messi. The former Barcelona man says the England International is on course to being the world’s best footballer when the pair of Ronaldo and Messi leave the centre stage.
The winger has started the campaign in scintillating fashion, racing on to eight goals for both club and country.
His goal return and contribution to play has hugely improved under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola and the former Liverpool player is now one of City’s first team players.
The 24-year-old lifted the Europe’s Golden Boy award in 2014 – given to the continent’s brightest young talent – and Xavi thinks the English winger is on course to replace Messi and Ronaldo at the front of the queue for further honours.
The Spaniard told The Mirror: “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, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Mohamed] Salah and of course Sterling. I look at the moment and Sterling is winning that race.
“He’s always been a good player, a dangerous player, but under Pep he [has] become one of the best in the world.
“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.”
The pair of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both dominated the world’s best awards for the past decade and have shared five Balon D’Ors between them ever since.