Ruud van Nistelrooy sees parts of himself in Xavi Simons, who he says has an “unprecedented” mentality.
Simons has been arguably the stand-out player in the Netherlands so far this season, getting six goals and two assists in five matches.
In the eyes of many, he’ll go on to be one of the best in the world, and his commitment to making that happen reminds his manager, Van Nistelrooy, of himself.
“He’s doing everything he can to get to the top, his top. And where that will be, that’s the beautiful challenge,” the manager said to Voetbal International.
“That bit in him, wanting to do everything for that, I recognize that from myself as a player. I can only enjoy that.”
Van Nistelrooy has no doubt that he has the mentality to get there too.
“His mentality, his mindset, it’s unprecedented,” he said.
“It’s a boy of only nineteen years old, but Xavi is already much further advanced than his age.
“But he really is a pure professional, a boy who is working towards a goal, who wants to get the most out of his qualities.”