- Former Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez believes Neymar is next in line to be the successor of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
- Xavi is of the opinion that the Brazilian superstar was criticised unnecessarily during Brazil’s World Cup campaign.
- 38-year-old Xavi has also ruled himself out of the running for the managerial position vacated by Fernando Hierro in the Spanish national team
Former Barcelona player and Spanish legend Xavi Hernandez believes that Neymar, not Mbappe is the successor of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the world of football. The Brazilian superstar suffered a heartbreak last week when Belgium knocked 5-times champions Brazil out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar who was criticised from all corners about his persistent diving and rolling around on the field has been totally overshadowed by his PSG teammate and French starlet Kylian Mbappe. The 20-year-old has struck some vital goals for France and is looking to continue the same when the French take on Belgium in the semi-final in just a few hours.
Neymar next in line to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?
However, Xavi, who played with Neymar at Barcelona before moving to Qatar to see out his career, believes that the Brazilian playmaker has been wrongly criticised for his antics, and currently in the world of football, he is next successor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best footballer on the planet.
Speaking to AS, Xavi came out in support of his former team-mate, who he believes is getting unfairly criticised by pundits and fans alike, even though he is trying his best to affect the game. Xavi said, “He is the clear successor of Messi and Cristiano, he is number one. It is his game, his way of being and it is difficult to change, I understand that there is controversy, that people can understand that they pull more than normal, but what we can not say is that they do not try it or that they do not have personality.”
With Ronaldo and Messi exiting the World Cup in the round of 16, many thought that this was Neymar’s year to finally showcase his unbelievable talent on the global stage, but unfortunately for him things didn’t go as planned as the Samba boys were completely dominated by their Belgium counterparts in a game which saw the best of Neymar only during the final stages.
Xavi not ready to take up the hot seat vacated by Fernando Hierro
Spanish National team suffered a humiliating exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with hosts Russia knocking them out on penalties in the round of 16. The signs were there from the start that Spain, who have dominated the world for so many years could struggle in Russia especially after the sacking Julen Lopetegui hours before their opening encounter against Portugal.
Fernando Hierro, who took charge of the side following Lopetegui’s exit has stepped down from his position, leaving the Spanish federation looking for yet another manager who can make Spain a force to reckon with once again in the future.
In latest World Cup News, Xavi, who made over 130 appearances for the national team, has ruled himself out of the race as he believes that he still has some time left on the pitch before moving to the dugout.
Speaking about the rumours that have surfaced in the past few days regarding his candidature for the manager’s role in the Spanish National team, Xavi said, “First of all, I do not see myself ready, secondly, I do not have the qualification card and third, it is not the moment. I do not see myself yet, I have to do an internship, I have to prepare myself well, train my staff, many things to do.
Watch – Schmeichel gives his verdict on Neymar’s diving
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