Xavi: Barça, Messi are the best
The Catalan champions swept all before them once again in the recently-completed season and the Spain international was happy to indulge in some rare trumpet-blowing.
He told German newspaper Bild: "There have been some great teams in history, Pele's Brazil, [Johan] Cruyff's Ajax, [Arrigo] Sacchi's Milan, but in the past 20 years this Barcelona team is the best."
On Messi, he added: "He is the best player of all time - better than Pele, [Diego] Maradona or Cruyff. We have to protect him as he is crucial. Without him we would not be what we are."
Barça retained their La Liga title last month and also claimed the UEFA Champions League crown with a 3-1 demolition of Manchester United at Wembley.
Real did not play
Their only disappointment was the Copa del Rey final defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid. Xavi, though, was critical of the approach adopted by Jose Mourinho's men throughout the season.
He said: "Madrid were the hardest opponents but not because they played football but because they wanted to destroy the game.
"I like Manchester United's approach a thousand times better. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Real did play."
He added: "He [Guardiola] is very intelligent, very enthusiastic and very 'Barcelona-ish'. He is a great coach and I hope he stays forever, if not as coach then as sporting director or president."