Xavi: Neymar, not Mbappe, most likely to reach Messi's level

Kylian Mbappe must mature to become an elite player, according to Xavi, who says that Neymar has more chance of becoming as good as Lionel Messi.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar celebrate against Lille   -  AFP

Barcelona legend Xavi believes that Neymar has more chance of reaching the levels of Lionel Messi than Paris Saint-Germain prodigy Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe is the leading scorer in Europe's top five leagues, with 11 goals from eight Ligue 1 appearances so far this term.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a stellar 2018, having excelled in his maiden season at PSG before going on to win the World Cup with France.

However, Xavi – who played with Neymar at Barca – has backed the Brazil star as the player who could come close to Messi, stating that Mbappe still has much to learn.

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"He's a very superior player physically. It's impressive that at his age he has those differences, but he could also get stuck, it's very difficult to predict," Xavi, who currently plays for Qatari club Al Sadd, told Catalunya Radio.

"He still has no football maturity but, he could be one of the good ones. He is so strong, but that does not always work in elite football, he has to learn to think. Neymar is the player that I have seen, if he manages to acquire that maturity, that might be more like Messi."

Both Mbappe and Neymar scored in PSG's 2-1 win over Lille on Friday, as Thomas Tuchel's side became the first team to win its opening 12 matches of a season across Europe's big five leagues.

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