Barcelona talisman Xavi insists that team-mate Lionel Messi is better than Diego Maradona ever was.
The Argentina ace has been in excellent form once again this term and the Spain international has paid him the ultimate honour.
Xavi believes that Messi deserves to win the Ballon d'Or after a number of glittering performances during the previous 12 months.
Although the diminutive star is expected to miss out on the award due to Argentina's World Cup failings, Xavi is adamant he would have taken the award with ease if they had succeeded in South Africa.
"A player like him only comes around once every 50 years,” he said. “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 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."