Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has described Lionel Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or win as "total justice".
Xavi was Messi’s team-mate at the Nou Camp until the Catalan departed for Al Sadd in 2015. In their time together, particularly under Pep Guardiola, they amassed a remarkable transfer haul and can claim to have been part of the best club football side ever.
Messi won four of his seven awards as Xavi’s team-mate, and earlier this week secured his most recent trophy. He was one of the frontrunners for the award alongside Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski.
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Speaking ahead of Barcelona's La Liga clash with Real Betis on Saturday, Xavi said the 34-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward was a worthy winner.
"I think it's football justice,” he began. “Total justice. He is the best footballer in the world. And the best of all time. And he deserves this seventh award. No doubt about it.
“I think it was Pep (Guardiola) who once said that it's never unfair that the Ballon d'Or should be awarded to Lionel Messi. I completely agree. He is the best footballer. Then we may think that maybe (Robert) Lewandowski also deserved it. Or other players.
“But this is the same debate every year. Back in the days, people also asked the trophy to be awarded to me or to Andres (Iniesta). But the moment they open the envelope and say Messi, I think that football is making justice."
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