Former England manager Fabio Capello has lavished praise upon Spain star Xavi, labelling the Barcelona ace as "the best midfielder of the last decade." 

33-year-old Xavi, who has spent his entire career at the Camp Nou, is a firm favourite with fans and has proved himself to be an absolutely pivotal figure for both club and country over the years.

The wily midfield maestro has made over 650 club appearances in a remarkably distinguished and successful career for Barca, during which time he has won seven La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns in addition to one World Cup and two European Championships in 128 senior caps for his country.

Capello, the experienced Italian who currently manages Russia after high-profile stints in charge of the likes of AC Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid and England, has been gushing in his praise of Xavi, insisting that the Spanish star had no rivals during the previous decade.

"Xavi is the best midfielder of the last decade," he said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero that was quoted by

67-year-old Capello, who has been in charge of Russia since July 2012, also believes his former club and Barca's fiercest rivals - Real - remain favourites to achieve Champions League glory this season.

"Ancelotti needs time. The players need to adapt to the changes. For me, Real Madrid remain favorites to win the Champions League," he added.

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