London, Jan 6: Former Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi has compared his former team's number one Keeper Marc-André ter Stegen with one of the best keeper of current generation Manuel Neuer claiming that the Barcelona shot-stopper is presently as good as his compatriot.
The former Borussia Mönchengladbach academy star joined Barcelona in 2014 and played two seasons with Xavi however in his initial days, the 25-year-old sometime looked shaky under the bar.
But from the very last season and this season onwards, the German stopper has been pivotal to Barcelona's development so far and his impressive keeping has led the La Liga side nine points clear at the top where he conceded only seven goals.
With Neuer currently out injured, Stegen has also taken the mantle from the Bayern Munich keeper in the German national team and as per Xavi, the 25-year-old is surely capable of matching his growth with his compatriot Munich stopper.
"He is currently one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He plays at a top level, he is a good man and is very professional," the retired Spanish midfielder told Bild.
"When I saw him on his first day at Barcelona, I was surprised by his footballing qualities. He is a very, very good goalkeeper. I think he is more or less on the same level as Manuel Neuer."
Xavi also heaped praise on his former rival team's player and Stegen's teammate Kroos as he labelled him one of the best midfielders in the world.
"Kroos is one of the best midfielders at the moment," he added.
"I think he is enjoying his time in Madrid. They have a strong team and they are among their best players."
Xavi currently experiencing his trade in Qatar with Qatari club Al Sadd SC as a dual, player and coach role, however, will be hanging up his playing boots after this season in search of a permanent coaching job.