I remember the phone call.
Everything began with the sports editor of this paper asking what there was to say which would give his readers a fresh perspective on the Ballon D'Or award in 2011.
I knew that, in just under a decade after moving to live in Spain, I had seen a quality of football which smashed the Richter Scale and that while Lionel Messi was a genius and Pep Guardiola was this orchestra's Andre Previn, one man absolutely required recognition. Xavi Hernández is what Messi is aiming at. If Messi can pack, pound for pound, the level of quality which Xavi has shown into his own career then he will stand alone as the world's greatest footballer.
Please enable cookies in your browser to display the rest of this article.