By 90Min
October 20, 2018

Legendary former Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi has hailed his old club's summer signing Arthur, admitting he sees similarities between the Brazilian and himself.

The Spaniard, who joined Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015, won 14 domestic titles with the Catalans over the course of a trophy-laden, 17-year spell, which began in 1998, having progressed from Barcelona's fabled academy.

He also won four UEFA Champions League trophies, and earned international success lifting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and two European Championships, in 2008 and 2012.

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Xavi, who played a pivotal role in the heart of Barcelona's midfield for so many years has tipped Arthur - who has impressed in his first few months in La Liga - to be his natural successor in 'number six' role at the Camp Nou.

As quoted by Globo Esporte, Xavi told Argentine Radio, Villa Trinidad: "Yes, I see many similar things [between me and Arthur], as he gets his head up. He is a very confident player, who always gives an out-ball to his teammates, receives and stands well.

"He is a player that we call in Barcelona, as someone with Barça DNA. He has all the ability to succeed. It depends on him, his mentality, confidence, which is the most important quality for a player."

The 38-year-old also mentioned that if Arthur can continue his fine run of form and play more often, he can help add further silverware at Barcelona.

He continued: "If they give him games, if [Ernesto] Valverde keeps giving him minutes, I think we are facing a player who can score an era in Barça."

Xavi also declared his support for former teammate Lionel Messi, who he feels has been unfairly criticised by many including Argentine legend Diego Maradona - who claimed the Barcelona number 10 isn't a natural 'leader'.

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"Messi seems to me an incredible leader both on the pitch and off the pitch. Maybe he's a quieter leader in the locker room, but he's an absolute leader, he always wants the ball, he offers himself, he has personality. He never hid," Xavi said.

"He seems to me to be an overachiever with absolute leadership, and at this point I disagree with Maradona. But there are opinions of all tastes."

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