Barcelona midfielder Xavi says Manchester United are operating at a "spectacular level" ahead of their Champions League clash this weekend.
Barca meet United in the final at Wembley on Saturday night in a repeat of the 2009 showpiece in Rome. Although Pep Guardiola's side got the better of Sir Alex Ferguson's men that night, Xavi's respect for his rivals remains.
"What Manchester United have done over the years has so much merit," he said. "They have been playing for many years at an extraordinary level, they have won many trophies, they have been competing consistently, getting to Champions League semi-finals and finals."
He added: "They are on a spectacular level; all the footballers are at an extraordinary level."
Xavi has been particularly impressed by the longevity of veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, as well as manager Ferguson.
"What Ferguson has done, what Scholes and Giggs have done - to be competing like they have, year after year, has a lot of merit," he said.
The midfielder believes United possess excellence all the way through the side.
"They haven't only got talent," he said. "They work well in defence, they are compact, they have many variants in attack. If they score a goal they close up at the back and play on the counter - they have a lot of tactical options."
Xavi was linked with a move to United earlier on his career but insists he is happy to have stayed at Barca.
"I'm in the Champions league final for the third time with this generation and I wouldn't change it for anything," he said.
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