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Sergio Busquets labels Xavi as all-time great

Pirlo and Xavi Italy Spain

Barcelona defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets has labelled captain and former international teammate Xavi the greatest Spanish player of all-time.

Xavi Hernandez is on the verge of signing a three-year contract with Qatari side Al-Sadd, according to AS, and as his legendary era in Spain comes to a close, one of his longest-standing teammates has heaped praise on the iconic playmaker who defined a generation.

In an interview with MARCA, Busquets insists that Xavi should be regarded as the "greatest Spanish player of all-time" and that the Catalan midfielder is an "example" to him and many players coming through the their respective systems.

"The truth is that yes, it will be very difficult (to be without Xavi with Spain) because since the day I started, I've always played alongside him, we've always gotten on really well and he's always been an example for everyone, for his teamwork, for how he supported me and his incredible level of play, for me, he's the greatest Spanish player of all time," Busquets is quoted as saying.

However, Busquets went on to add that despite one era, which saw Spain win unprecedented back-to-back-to-back major championships, the new crop of young players is just as exciting, as they bring enthusiasm, desire and drive that is sometimes lost as the years wear on.

"I hope they can help up get back on top, there are great players and they are a great generation of plays and I hope they give us the factors we need to get back to winning titles and getting back on top."

Busquets concluded by explaining his decision to leave his old number and wear the number '5' shirt of former captain Carles Puyol, just months after the centre-back's retirement.

"I get on very well with Puyol too and we had a chat in which he said he'd really like me to wear his number, for me it was an honour that someone like him, on a personal and footballing level, told me that."

Busquets went on to further honour Puyol's number when he was voted by his Barcelona teammates as one of the club's four captains this season, joining Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Leo Messi, all of whom are products of Barcelona's famed La Masia youth system.

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