How Barcelona could use Xavi now.
The Catalan giants currently have the best front three in the world, and the great Andres Iniesta is still around in between injuries, but without Xavi they have lost something.
The four-time Champions League winner is one of the game’s greatest ever metronomes.
With Xavi as Barca’s conductor, Pep Guardiola’s side of the late 2000s and early 2010s reached another level of superiority.
In the wake of Real Madrid’s first title win since 2011/12, Xavi’s influence is missed more than ever.
But who out of the current crop is most like the eight-time La Liga champion?
Many believe PSG’s Marco Verratti could carve out a similar career.
For a long time, Cesc Fabregas was fancied to take up the mantle.
But ahead of the Champions League final, Xavi has singled out Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos for special praise.
Speaking to Bild, he said: “Kroos is like an engine in the game of Real.
“In the way he plays, I am very much reminded of him – he is almost my successor in the position.”
The German passmaster has been immense this season and has been one of Europe’s most consistent performers at the top level over the last few years.
Xavi isn’t the first retired legend to join the Kroos fan club.
Paul Scholes identified the 27-year-old as being ‘world-class’ and recommended his old club Man United do everything in their power to sign him.
The Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid is set to host some sublime midfield talent in the form of Luka Modric, Miralem Pjanic, Isco and Sami Khedira.
Can Kroos dominate the big stage to deliver Madrid their 12th European Cup?