In a surprising interview with The Mirror, Xavi Hernandez stated that Raheem Sterling is the ideal Messi and Ronaldo replacement.
It seems that Xavi Hernandez has chosen Raheem Sterling as the ideal replacement for Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Catalan manager who is very close to reaching the FIFA Club World Cup in December, spoke to The Mirror about it.
In this extended interview, Xavi praises the non-stop work that Pep Guardiola has done with several Manchester City players.
He was directly questioned about the names of footballers who can take the step towards replacing the two giants.
The answer he offered was quite surprising as he dropped a name that few people have on their list.
Raheem Sterling has shown a consistent increase in his level of performance, Pep Guardiola regards him as one of the best players he has.
In today’s football climate, we can talk about players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and even Mohamed Salah.
But for Xavi, Sterling is the one who has the upper hand right now and he credits Guardiola’s work for his development.
The truth is that we still haven’t seen the final stage of Sterling’s true form, we may see it this season but Xavi seems like he has a good idea of what it will look like.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 17, 2019
“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,” said Xavi to 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, 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.”
“With Barcelona, I look at Manchester City and Liverpool as being the favourites for the Champions League this season.”
“We already know that Liverpool have shown they have what it takes to win the Champions League and they are a very strong team.”
“And after two Premier League titles I think Pep will really prioritize the Champions League this season.”
“You never know what can happen – but I look at those three as one of the winners,” he concluded.
"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…" pic.twitter.com/gzGxu3YhGo
— Man City | Superbia (@SuperbiaProeIia) September 17, 2019
Our verdict on Xavi’s prediction.
We believe that out of all the Manchester City players that Pep Guardiola has under his command, Sterling is the one who plays a similar position to Messi and Ronaldo.
However, we still believe that Neymar, Mbappe, and Salah are a step above the Englishman.
We think that Xavi is talking a little too soon about something that may or may not happen in the near future, but he may be on the right track.
As of right now, the other three players he mentioned are the ones who have proved more than Sterling.
Then we have to talk about the younger generations of players who are coming up, names who will be huge in the near future despite their age.
We can’t just let Xavi talk about this very interesting topic without leaving our own views on youngsters such as Jadon Sancho or Joao Felix.
These two specific names are doing things that will get them on that level very soon, Xavi needs to look at what they are doing as well.
We get that the Catalan coach holds a special connection with Guardiola, but he needs to be a little more objective when he is talking about Messi and Ronaldo’s replacements.
Vaya 3… Kane, Sancho, Sterling 🤩🤩🤩 pic.twitter.com/WHw6OlgZcp
— Sang culé 💙❤️ (@xavi97fcb) September 10, 2019
Do you agree with Xavi about Sterling being the ideal Messi and Ronaldo replacement in the immediate future? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.