Raheem Sterling Manchester City

Xavi backs Raheem Sterling to be best player in the world after Lionel Messi

How far can Sterling go in football?

Barcelona legend Xavi has backed Raheem Sterling to be the best player in the world when Lionel Messi eventually hangs up his boots.

Sterling has been sensational for Manchester City since joining from Liverpool.

While there were some initial questions over his fee, Sterling has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons.

In the 2017/18 season, the Englishman scored a whopping 18 goals and assisted 15 in the Premier League.

He also scored a further four goals in the Champions League.

Sterling followed that up last season by scoring 25 goals and assisting 18 in all competitions.

His form has been extremely impressive at the start of this campaign, too.

Sterling has scored five goals in just five Premier League appearances.

Now, former Barcelona star Xavi is backing him to go to the very top of world football.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 10: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City holds the match ball as he applauds fans after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

‘Sterling is winning that race’

According to Xavi – Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah are all in the race to be the best in the world when Messi retires.

However, the former midfielder thinks Sterling will win that race after being coached by Pep Guardiola.

“Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the best player in the world awards for so many years now, it’s hard to remember a time before them,” Xavi explained in an interview with the Mirror. 

“Messi is the best ever for me – and even though they’re both still playing at a very high level – there will come the day not so long away when somebody else must step into those shoes.

“You look at young players who can be crowned the future best in the world and you still think of Neymar, Mbappe, Salah, and of course Sterling.

“I look at the moment – and Sterling is winning that race.

“He’s always been a good player, a dangerous player, but under Pep he becomes one of the best in the world.”

 

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✈️ UCL MOOD

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See also: Hammer blow for Man City: John Stones ruled out for 4 to 5 weeks

What Kevin De Bruyne thinks about Man City’s chances of beating Liverpool to the Premier League title

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