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."
13 de noviembre 2018
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|Australian Open dismisses concerns of Federer scheduling bias|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|
|Real Madrid confirm Reguilon injury|
|Higuain handed two-match ban for Juve meltdown|
|Kruis ruled out for England as Jones calls up uncapped quartet|
|A year on from Italy failure, Ventura leaves Chievo after four games|
|Bairstow misses out as unchanged England promote Stokes|
|Recalled Alba denies Luis Enrique bust-up|
|´Unhappy´ Christensen won´t push for Chelsea exit|
|Nadal to make Abu Dhabi comeback in December|
|Taijul helps Bangladesh tighten their grip despite Taylor ton|
|Neymar joining Real Madrid wouldn´t hurt Iniesta|
|It´s just team spirit - Livingston not worried by Durant-Green exchange|
|Trippier out of England squad with groin injury|
|Ex-Sri Lanka international Lokuhettige charged by ICC|
|Former England and Chelsea star Joe Cole retires|
|Nets offer support to LeVert following serious leg injury|
|Panenka proud Sergio Ramos imitates his penalties|
|Liverpool´s Alisson seeks patience to reach potential|
|Anthony Davis leads Pelicans, Clippers hold off Warriors in OT|
|Lindelof rues international break for Man Utd|
|Shaqiri confident in more goals for Liverpool|
|Giants too good for 49ers in crunch time|
|Southgate named honorary Yorkshireman|
|Nicky Butt: Manchester United are low on confidence|
|Criticism of Barcelona star Dembele is overblown - agent|
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Welbeck has successful second operation on broken ankle|
|UEFA warns FFP cases can be reopened based on ´new information´|
12 de noviembre 2018
|Foakes to keep England place for second Test|
|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
|Mbappe: Money in football is truly indecent|
|Djokovic back to brilliant best as Isner is beaten|
|Celta Vigo replace Mohamed with Cardoso after Real Madrid defeat|
|Joshua intrigued by Usyk, says Hearn|
|Ibrahimovic beats Rooney to MLS Newcomer award|
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|
|Koeman understands De Ligt´s Eredivisie frustrations|
|Jimmy Butler trade: 76ers acquire Timberwolves star in blockbuster deal|
|´Improve your attitude´ - Deschamps issues Dembele warning|
|Sturridge charged with misconduct over alleged breach of betting rules|
|Saints sign Marshall following Bryant injury|
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|