Xavi believes Neymar "has to mature" if he is to reach the same level as Lionel Messi.
The former Barcelona midfielder was asked to assess the merits of his two ex-team-mates and, although he remains a fan of Neymar, thinks Messi is a step ahead at the current time.
Neymar left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222 million in August 2017 but reports in Spain suggest the Brazil star is eager to return and re-form a previously prolific triumvirate with Messi and Luis Suarez.
Speaking to Super Deportivo de Villa Trinidad, Xavi said of Messi and Neymar: "They are different. I see Leo with great footballing maturity. He does everything well. Neymar is a person who has to mature, but he seems like a player with enormous capacity to make a difference.
"Although he could improve, he is among the top players in the world."
Xavi also backed Messi in the face of blistering criticism from Diego Maradona, who said the five-time Ballon d'Or winner did not possess the leadership skills required to captain Argentina.
"I disagree with Maradona," he added.
"Messi is an incredible leader, he is maybe quiet in the dressing toom but he's an absolute leader. He always wants the ball, he always offers himself, he has personality. He has never hidden.
"I don't like it when former footballers are too critical with former team-mates. I'm not just talking about Maradona, but in general.
"These footballers who are very critical with their professional team-mates...they have been there and they know the difficulty. I don't understand the strong criticism against players when you have been there too."
Argentina's underwhelming World Cup campaign in Russia has led to speculation Messi will step away from international football but Xavi believes the 31-year-old will continue to play for his country.
"I think he'll return. He needs time to reflect and to rest but I think he'll go back," he said.
"He is a competitive beast and he will want to try and win with Argentina."
18 de noviembre 2018
|Ogier wins sixth straight WRC title|
|Rogic, Kruse to miss Socceroos´ Lebanon friendly|
|Joerger has Kings´ ´full support´, says GM Divac|
|England seal series win over Sri Lanka|
|Butler´s heroics spoil Walker´s 60-point game as 76ers beat Hornets|
|He´s an honest guy – Djokovic defends Zverev after Finals controversy|
|Bonucci boos a ´mistake´ by fans, says Mancini|
|Ronaldo still part of Portugal squad – Santos|
|Santos satisfied as Portugal reach Nations League Finals|
|Howell holds onto RSM Classic lead|
|McLeish optimistic as Scotland zero in on Nations League promotion|
|Luis Enrique rejects criticism of Spain star De Gea|
|Schmidt dismisses Hansen´s Ireland World Cup favourites claim as ´banter´|
|There are always imbeciles – Bonucci hits back at fans after frosty San Siro reception|
17 de noviembre 2018
|Portugal draw ´a step forward´ despite poor finishing – Mancini|
|Ireland were just too good - Read|
|Thomas at the double as France end losing streak|
|Albania 0 Scotland 4: Forrest double sets up promotion showdown|
|Italy 0 Portugal 0: European champions outplayed but secure Finals spot|
|Sensational Djokovic marches into final|
|Stander lauds Ireland´s ´unreal´ defence as All Blacks are thwarted|
|Dazzling Ireland claim historic All Blacks scalp in Dublin|
|Federer unimpressed with Zverev boos|
|Let´s get it on! Cheika relishing England clash|
|Croatia coach Dalic to speak with Lovren over Ramos remarks|
|Xhaka puts improved form down to ´freak´ Emery|
|De Gea not lacking confidence, says Spain´s Saul|
|Jordan goalkeeper scores from own penalty area in friendly against India|
|Pollard leads Springboks to Murrayfield victory|
|Fired-up Japan taught England a great lesson - Jones|
|Sarries leave it late to down Sale, Bath and Saints win|
|O´Shea fumes at disallowed Italy try|
|Southgate welcomes England selection quandary|
|Reaching Rooney´s England goals record ´definitely possible´ – Kane|
|Debut try for Cokanasiga as England rally to avoid Japan upset|
|Wembley will galvanise ´tired´ Croatia, insists Dalic|
|Zverev apologises for tie-break controversy amid O2 Arena heckles|
|Marquez happy with fifth after damaging shoulder in Valencia|
|Wales crush Tonga in Cardiff|
|Germany should keep faith in old guard - Bierhoff|
|Injured Lukaku to miss Belgium´s Nations League decider|
|Zverev knocks out Federer to reach maiden ATP Finals showpiece|
|Koroibete double maintains Australia´s 100 per cent record against Italy|
|Juventus´ Khedira sprains ankle in training|
|Van Dijk: Ramos is not my type of defender|
|Vinales grabs Valencia pole as Marquez crashes|
|I don´t deserve Ballon d´Or, Mbappe does – Hazard|
|Reed and Willett share lead in Dubai|
|Romagnoli joins long AC Milan injury list|
|Williamson steadies Black Caps after Boult heroics|
|Griezmann targets swift French response against Uruguay|
|Havertz´s future lies with Bayer Leverkusen – sporting director Boldt|
|Socceroos boss Arnold excited for future|
|South Africa triumph on Gold Coast in truncated T20 clash|
|Germany without Draxler for Netherlands game|
|Barcelona confirm Rakitic hamstring injury|
|Rain halts England´s post-tea flourish|
|Australia 1 South Korea 1: Luongo seals late draw for Socceroos|
|Irving thrives on ´peace´ of being in the zone|
|Lloris admits France could have lost by more|
|Dybala impressed by Argentina´s improved spirit|
|Arsenal chief confirms Super League talks|
|Hooker knocks out Saucedo to retain WBO strap|
|NBA wrap: Kyrie Irving sizzles as Celtics beat Raptors in overtime|
|Jimmy Butler aims dig at Timberwolves following 76ers home debut|
|Koeman surprised by dominant Netherlands|
|Southgate rallies England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Chile 2 Costa Rica 3: Waston brace sinks La Roja|
|Tite inspired by Guardiola´s City|
|Argentina 2 Mexico 0: Funes Mori´s header helps to sink El Tri|