squad | 2015-06-02
Xavi Hernández rates his FC Barcelona teammates
"I believe Busquets is my natural successor"
FC Barcelona captain, Xavi Hernández rated nine of his Barça teammates for the UEFA website.
Marc-André ter Stegen: “I didn’t know him and I had never watched him play [before he came to Barcelona]. I think he was a good signing from Zubizarreta, an excellent choice because he could be Barça’s goalie for the next 10, 12 or 15 years. I have never seen such a skillful goalkeeper with his feet.”
Javier Mascherano: “He’s a friend and a source of inspiration. It’s extraordinary the way he has adapted to Barcelona’s playing style. He’s smart, a true leader on and off the pitch. He’s a role model at the club. Perhaps he wasn’t raised in the club but it feels like he was.”
Jordi Alba: “He’s a great friend. To me, he’s the best left back in the world, without a doubt. He’s an unique player, a born winner, he has an awesome personality that allows him to adapt in order to play in Barça. He has a very strong character. He could become a great leader if he keeps that personality.”
Gerard Piqué: “Piqué is a born leader, inside and outside the field. He has become, again, the best center back in the world, because he has set himself out to be one. He worked so hard in the offseason and he has risen to the occasion, there’s nothing more to add. He’s 28 years old and he’s the best center back in the world. He still has four or five years left at a world-class level in Barcelona. He’s one of the key characters in the dressing room and during matches. Our team is very strong defensively thanks to players like Piqué and Mascherano.”
Andrés Iniesta: “He’s fantastic. I believe he’s the most talented player in Spanish history. He’s a remarkable player, with a wonderful personality and a great heart. He’s the best, how he treats people, in the dressing room and on the pitch. He’s a leader. He’s always willing to take the ball, he never hides. It’s an absolute pleasure to have shared all these years alongside him.”
Sergio Busquets: “I have a weakness for Busquets in all aspects. He’s a close friend and I think nobody understands the game better than him, whether in attacking or defending. His intelligence to analyze the game is astonishing. Besides, he is someone I have so much in common. I haven’t said this in press conferences but I believe he’s my natural successor in the dressing room and on the pitch. He’s meant to be the technical leader in Barcelona for the next 10 years. I have no doubts about it.”
Luis Suárez: “I’m a fan of Luis because we knew each other before he came to Barcelona. We had a friend in common in Ajax: Gabri. He’s a superb player because of how he plays with his back to the goal, his understanding of the game, the solutions he brings when the opponent presses. He will always find the ball and know how to keep it. He makes the opponents foul him, he’s a striker, he has the same instinct as Samuel Eto’o. He’s an incredible player and a humble person too, down to earth.”
Neymar: “He’s an amazing character. I knew about his importance in Brazil, I knew he’s a world-class player but he’s still easygoing and has a positive influence in the dressing room. He’s so gifted that when Messi retires he will take over as the best player in the world, I have no doubts.”
Lionel Messi: “He’s the smallest in height but arguably he’s the best, even in the air game. I’m not going to say anything new about him. What he has done is amazing. He’s even the best defender. When he presses the opponents, he often wins the duel. He’s the best in everything, whatever he does.”
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