Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has hailed Xavi Hernandez on his achievement of reaching 151 Champions League games.
The Barcelona midfielder equalled Giggs’ record in the 4-0 victory over APOEL in Cyprus on Tuesday and the Welshman, who came up against him in the 2009 and 2011 finals, did not hesitate to congratulate him.
“It’s always disappointing to lose a record but to share it with someone of Xavi’s calibre certainly softens the blow,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“For me he is like a chess player who is always two or three moves ahead. He is one of the greatest footballers in one of the best teams of all time.
“What surprised me most in the games I played against him was the way in which he caressed the ball and protected it, keeping if far away from his opponents. It seemed as if he always took the right decision at the right time.”
In addition to his quality, Giggs also emphasised the attitude shown by Xavi on the pitch.
“What I most liked about him was his intelligence on the pitch and, although I don’t know him very well, the humility with which he carried himself.
“He reminded me a lot of Paul Scholes but Xavi was definitely better at tackling,” smiled Giggs, who believes the Spaniard’s next move could be into coaching.
“He has the qualities to be a Coach because of the intelligence and leadership skills he has acquired during his career,” he maintained.