StoryXavi: Cristiano Ronaldo is a better finisher than Lionel Messi

Barcelona legend and Al Sadd midfielder Xavi believes ex-teammate Lionel Messi is still the best player in the world, although Cristiano Ronaldo does usurp the Argentine in one department.

Both players have had unbelievable goalscoring records - with Ronaldo having notched 407 goals in 396 outings for Los Blancos whilst Messi has netted 510 times in 587 games for the Catalunya-based club.

Xavi, a World Cup winner with Spain, believes that Ronaldo hosts a slight edge over Messi due to his better ability to shoot in front of goal when positioned in the number nine role. Despite this, the former La Masia graduate insists that Messi is the best footballer in the world as he is capable of linking up play which Ronaldo would find hard to do.

In an interview with Marca, Xavi said: "Ronaldo is [the best] as a shooter, he’s incredible at that and is a historic player. But with Messi you cannot compare. Messi is a master in the collective and individual senses. But for Ronaldo, that kind of linking up takes a lot. Messi does everything well. If a coach were to say “we’re going to play with us all running back” then Messi would also be the best at that. If you ask Ronaldo to play with one or two touches then I don’t know if he would be the best."

Messi's current deal is due to expire at the end of the 2017/18 season, and it is widely expected that he will sign a new extension owing to the transfer activity in the latter stages of the transfer window. The likes of Paulinho and Ousmane Dembele have been brought in since Neymar's departure to Paris Saint-Germain, and the Spanish giants are now hopeful of securing the services of Angel di Maria from Parc des Princes before tonight's 11 pm deadline.

Barcelona have made a strong start to the La Liga season under Ernesto Valverde, and they currently sit second in the table with six points from two games.