Former Barcelona captain Xavi has claimed that Raheem Sterling is fully capable of eclipsing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to become the best player in world football.
Messi and Ronaldo have long been considered as the two outstanding players in world football, but the former will be 33 next summer and injuries appear to be catching up on him.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, will turn 35 in the early stages of 2020, and it remains to be seen how long the Portugal international has left in top-level action.
Xavi mentioned the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah as possible replacements for the duo as the best player in the world, but the legendary figure has insisted that Sterling "is winning that race".
"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," The Mirror quotes Xavi as saying.
"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."
Sterling has scored six times in six appearances for the Citizens this season, while the former Liverpool winger has struck 75 times and registered 65 assists in 197 outings for the English champions in all competitions.body check tags ::