Legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff has shared his thoughts on the reason behind the poor start to FC Barcelona’s title defence and also who according to him is the best player in the world.

The former FC Barcelona superstar identified the midfield to be FC Barcelona’s weak-link this season, which has seen the Catalan giants win only five of their opening seven La Liga games. The reigning champions have failed to reach the heights of last season and the recent injury to world’s best player, Lionel Messi, has added to their woes.

Cruyff, who has both played for FC Barcelona and even managed the team, insisted that it was the variety of midfielders that the Blaugrana had within their ranks, which was holding the team back. Speaking in an event, as quoted by Marca, Ctuyff said:

“Yes, of course I can see the differences between this Barcelona side and others. Can’t you? All I do is express my opinion when you ask me, not criticise.

“I think it’s easy to understand if you look at their midfield. They’re all very different footballers”.

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Nobody is on the same level as Messi – Cruyff

The perennial debate regarding who the best footballer is of this generation was settled by the all-conquering Dutchman. He opined that Cristiano, despite being a great goalscorer cannot be a team player of Messi’s ilk. He even said that a team cannot be built around Cristiano.

“I’ve always liked smaller, more technically gifted players because I was one. Cristiano is a great player but he’s a goalscorer. He’ll never be that creative player you build a team around, the one in charge of how a team plays. His job is the end product, the goal. On the other hand, Messi is much more of a team player: he passes the ball, notches up no end of assists… In my opinion, there is a huge difference between a great player and a goalscorer”.

When asked about his pick for this year’s Ballon d’Or, Cruyff felt there’s no point debating as no footballer has quite been on the level that the diminutive Argentine has been.

“There’s no discussion, nobody is on the same level as Messi. I’d give it to him again”.