Xavi Backs Messi For Ballon D’or
While Messi may not fancy his chances of defending his title, for Xavi there is not a player in the game today who can compare with the 23-year-old. When asked about his own possibilities of winning the Ballon d’Or, Xavi told FIFA.com: “I’ll repeat what I’ve been telling everybody: I hope that a Spanish player wins it and if not, I hope it goes to my friend Leo Messi.
“He’s indisputably the best player in the world, and he’s going to win the Ballon d’Or several more times. But in World Cup years the tournament is a big factor, and Andres (Iniesta) and I won it, while La Albiceleste didn’t hit the heights expected of them.”
Xavi continued about Messi: “A player like him only comes around once every 50 years. “The only reason the rest of us have any chance of winning this year is because the World Cup didn’t turn out too well for Argentina, because if it had, then it (the Ballon d’Or) would be no contest.
“In my view, Leo is now even better than Maradona was. He’s going to be at the very top for many years to come, there’s nobody like him. “He loves taking responsibility, he never hides away. And I’ve known him since he was a kid, I’ve watched him develop and I can say that he’s tremendously professional and has good people around him. He’s got all the ingredients for success.”
Meanwhile, FC Copenhagen will attempt to thwart Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in Tuesday’s Champions League Group D clash by trying to prevent him operating between their midfield and defence, according to coach Stale Solbakken.
“Cleverer coaches than me and better players than mine have tried and been unsuccessful at stopping Messi but with a great team effort we have a chance,” Solbakken told a news conference on Monday. Messi was a key player (in the match in Barcelona) and it will be extremely important to stop him from roaming in the area between our midfield and defence. If we can push him out towards the sidelines we will have a better chance of preventing him creating chances.”