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."
23 de abril 2019
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|Zola suggests Chelsea to report Burnley after Sarri was allegedly ´offended´|
|Nets´ Dudley doubles down on Simmons comments|
|Hudson-Odoi says his season is over with ruptured Achilles tendon|
|Arthur backs Pakistan to mount World Cup challenge|
|David Luiz accuses Burnley of playing ´anti-football´|
22 de abril 2019
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|NFL Draft 2019: Five sleeper prospects|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five potential first-round surprises|
|Chelsea 2 Burnley 2: Kante injured as Sarri´s men waste chance to go third|
|Kante off injured ahead of crucial period for Chelsea|
|Ruthless Saints thrash Hull FC, Warrington thump Rovers|
|Pant sends Capitals top despite Rahane hundred|
|AFC Champions League Review: Xavi stars in last-gasp Al Sadd victory|
|Brentford 2 Leeds United 0: Automatic promotion hopes hanging by a thread for Bielsa|
|Verdasco edges ahead of old rival Lopez in Barcelona, Mayer books Nadal date|
|Martic rallies to oust Zidansek in Istanbul|
|Heavyweight Ali pays the Price for bite|
|Championship Review: Sheffield United put the pressure back on Leeds, Norwich City held|
|Valverde to be patient with returning Barcelona star Dembele|
|Valencia winger Cheryshev to miss Copa del Rey final|
|DaMarkus Lodge relishing chance to prove himself as all-round receiver|
|Hassan named in Afghanistan World Cup squad|
|Bayern ´not easy´ for Sanches, accepts Kovac|
|Sissoko could miss two weeks – Pochettino|
|Pakistan announce Shadab Khan treatment plans|
|Coman and Gnabry impressing Bayern Munich boss Kovac|
|Khan will not retire on Crawford loss|
|Pavard: Bayern signed me because I am one of the best|
|Eels open new home by thumping tame Tigers|
|Folau´s Rugby Australia hearing set for May 4|
|Henderson urges Liverpool to ´keep believing´ in title race|
|McCollum driven by past Blazers failure|
|Hertha confirm broken ankle for rumoured Bayern target Stark|
|Young promises United response in Manchester derby|
|Mbappe won´t leave PSG, insists Tuchel|
|Warriors and Trail Blazers extend leads, Celtics reach Conference semis|
|Red Sox, Yankees claim extra-inning wins to continue turnarounds|
|Matic: Man United didn´t have leaders against Everton|
|Tuchel calls for Champions League patience after Ligue 1 glory|
|MLS Review: Vela leads LAFC rout, New York end winless start|
|Kerr backs Warriors star Curry to bounce back quickly|
|76ers star Butler, Nets´ Dudley fined after playoff clash|
|We always feel the same happiness – Al-Khelaifi revels in PSG´s Ligue 1 success|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: More goals and tighter at the back – the numbers behind Tuchel´s triump|
|Warriors´ Thompson says he ended slump by jumping in ocean|
|Maiden winner Pan claims RBC Heritage as Johnson capitulates|
|We cannot influence Manchester derby, neither can United – Klopp trolls Solskjaer´s men|
|Stevens proud of Celtics for keeping foot on the accelerator to sweep Pacers|
|DeRozan fined $25k for throwing ball at referee|
|Garcia and Mladenovic put past feud behind them to send France into Fed Cup final|
21 de abril 2019
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|Munster condemn pitch invader who confronted Vunipola|
|NHL awards 2019: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Victor Hedman named Norris Trophy finalists|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Monaco 1: Mbappe leads title celebrations with hat-trick as Neymar returns|
|Celtics sweep Pacers to advance to semi-finals|
|Neymar makes return from injury as substitute against Monaco|
|Words mean little – De Gea apologetic for disastrous Manchester United performance|
|PSG in Notre Dame jersey tribute against Monaco|
|Benzema the world´s best striker – Zidane|
|Patel the hero as Challengers survive Dhoni´s devastating display|
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|It is in our hands – Emery confident on Arsenal´s Champions League hopes|
|Liverpool prove to be a cut above Cardiff thanks to Klopp´s pitch-perfect plan|
|Neymar back on the bench for PSG´s clash with Monaco|
|Ringrose: ´Incredible´ Saracens awaiting Leinster in final|
|Hodgson prepared to fight to keep Zaha at Crystal Palace|
|All we can do is keep the pressure on Man City, admits Milner|