Barcelona legend Xavi has tipped Manchester City star Raheem Sterling to become the best player in world football.
The England international is widely established as one of the Premier League‘s brightest talents and has begun the new season in scintillating form, scoring seven goals in seven appearances for club and country.
The 24-year-old has developed into one of Europe’s most productive forward players under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, winning the Football Writer’s Footballer of the Year award last season, and former Spain midfielder Xavi believes Sterling is leading the race to succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s finest player.
“Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the best player in the world awards for so many years now, it’s hard to remember a time before them,” Xavi told The Mirror.
Raheem Sterling for club & country since Pep Guardiola was appointed:
-104 minutes per G/A
-Premier League champion X2
-FA Cup winner
-League Cup winner X2
-Premier League YPOTY 2018-19
People tried to tarnish his name, but he’s truly risen above it.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) September 10, 2019
“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, Mbappe, 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 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.”
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