The 40-year-old also praised Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk, calling them the best manager and best defender in the world respectively.
In an interview with Qatar Airways, Xavi heaped praise on Kevin De Bruyne, stating that the Belgium international is simply on another level. He said:
“Kevin de Bruyne, from Manchester City, seems to me on another level, brutal, he is able to make a difference. He is the best midfielder in the world and relatively young.”
De Bruyne is managed by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Guardiola enjoyed a successful spell as Barcelona manager, where Xavi was one of his most important players.
Xavi picks former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola over Jurgen Klopp
Xavi is regarded as one of the best midfielders to have played the game. The Spain international spent the majority of his playing career with Barcelona, making his debut in 1998 and making 767 appearances in all competitions for the club.
The midfielder left Barcelona in 2015 to play for Al Sadd. After retiring in 2019, he now manages the Qatari club.
Xavi admitted that he considers Pep Guardiola to be the best manager in the world, ahead of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
“Pep is the best manager in the world. He has given a twist to our sport. He is very good for what he transmits and his leadership ability. In addition, the way he convinced us, he is very good.”
The Al Sadd manager also explained why he thinks Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the world.
“I would choose Van Dijk due to his leadership, physical strength and good technical ability.”
After Quique Setien’s departure as Barcelona boss in the summer, there were heavy rumours that the Camp Nou outfit wanted Xavi to take over. However, that move failed to materialise, with Barcelona appointing another former player in Ronald Koeman.
However, reports suggest that Xavi’s return to Barcelona is inevitable and will happen at some point in the future.
Published 30 Dec 2020, 18:32 IST