Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has hailed Manchester City as “the best team in the world” and said that the Premier League leaders deserve to win the treble.

City are at the top of the Premier League, one point clear or Arsenal with a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place in the Champions League semifinal with a 4-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich and face holders Real Madrid later this month. They will then take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3.

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Asked if it would be fair for City to win the treble, Xavi said in Monday’s news conference: “Yes, it would be. For me it’s the best team in the world. They have the best coach and for us, the football they play, is a mirror to look at. It would be a very fair treble.”

Barca suffered an early exit from the Champions League and Europa League but have enjoyed domestic success this season. They beat Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa earlier this year and can clinch the LaLiga title on May 14 when they play at city rivals Espanyol.

The Catalan side are 11 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with six league games remaining.

“It’s not a miracle but it’s a high-level merit to be where we are at,” Xavi said. “We are in a process of construction. We need to build, and this league is very important for the club. I think we have competed very well. We made good signings so it’s not a miracle. But we said in preseason that we were going to win the title and we are on our way.

“We have important games ahead of us, we still haven’t won the league.”

Barca want to take a step closer to their aim by winning at Osasuna on Tuesday.

“The game against Osasuna is three vital points,” Xavi said. “We need to focus on ourselves. I don’t know if Osasuna will be thinking about the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid [on Saturday].

“But I would like to win this league as soon as possible. It’s something that we need as a team, for the coaching staff, for the players. We’ve had a really good season. If we win it at Cornella [Espanyol on May 14], then great. We just have to win the league.

“Everyone has prioritised the team over individuality. That is why we won the Spanish Supercopa and we are ahead in the league standings.”

Xavi praised Robert Lewandowski, the league’s leading scorer with 19 goals. The veteran forward joined Barca last summer in a €45 million transfer from Bayern Munich and has scored in Barca’s last two games.

“There are moments in a season where you are not as sharp but he has taken a big step forward,” Xavi said. “His maturity helps in that sense. It’s not just the goals, in our last two games he has done very well. He’s had a brilliant season.”

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Premier League leaders Man City deserve to win treble – Xavi