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Quotes on Iniesta

Zafer Cincil

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

The greatest ever quotes on FC Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta. Don’t miss anything that is said about the Spain international.

A total of 28 quotes on Iniesta.


• Luis Enrique: “Iniesta’s the most inventive player in Spanish football at the moment. He’s like Harry Potter. One, two, three and whoosh… he’s past the player. It’s like he has a magic wand.”

•  Fernando Torres: “When he has the ball, it’s like everything else stops – like the camera is going in slow motion.”

• Pep Guardiola: “Iniesta doesn’t dye his hair, he doesn’t wear earrings and he hasn’t got any tattoos. Maybe that makes him unattractive to the media but he is the best.” 

• Zinedine Zidane: “He reminds me of myself.” 

• Sergio Ramos: “Iniesta is the boyfriend that every mother wants her daughter to have. The figures over his career tell you all you need to know. He is a magical player. There are few players in the world that can compare to him.”

“He’s fantastic. He makes the team work. The way he finds passes, his movement and ability to create space is incredible. He’s so important for Barcelona.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

•  Marco van Basten: “With Xavi, he has helped Barcelona dominate the Champions League for the past 10 years. With his passing, he is one of the greatest.” 

• Ronaldinho:  “When I see him play these days, he reminds me of Xavi. He was always a top quality player. He started very young with us, and it’s crazy to see how he has gone on to make so much history.” 

• Frank Rijkaard: “I played him as a false winger, central midfielder, deep midfielder and just behind the striker and he was always excellent.” 

• Wayne Rooney (2009): “Barcelona are a brilliant team and in my opinion Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world.”

Iniesta retirement

After his final game for FC Barcelona in 2018, Iniesta stayed at the Camp Nou all alone for hour | Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

• Pep Guardiola: “He always moans that he doesn’t score enough, as if with everything else he does, he has to get goals too.” 

“I’ve been playing with him since we were 15 and I have never, ever seen him play badly.”

Fernando Torres

• Samuel Eto’o: “When I said Iniesta was the world’s best, you laughed. Now you can see I’m right.”

• Vicente del Bosque:  “He is the complete footballer. He can attack and defend, he creates and scores.” 

• Vicente del Bosque: “Technically he is perfect and he plays so naturally, almost without effort. It’s like when Roger Federer plays tennis, he barely sweats.” 

• Juan Roman Riquelme: “I watch Iniesta and realise that, even at my age, I could be learning new things.” 

“He has something that always amazes me. There’s always a moment when you think you’re going to catch him, when you think you’re going to get the ball off him, but you can’t.”

Lionel Messi

• Lionel Messi: “Andrés and I are similar in that we both use our bodies a lot, to avoid opponents. But he has something that always amazes me. There’s always a moment when you think you’re going to catch him, when you think you’re going to get the ball off him, but you can’t. He’s not especially quick, but he has that ability to always get away from you, which comes from his technique.” 

• Fernando Torres: “I’ve been playing with him since we were 15 and I have never, ever seen him play badly.” 

• Sir Alex Ferguson: “He’s fantastic. He makes the team work. The way he finds passes, his movement and ability to create space is incredible. He’s so important for Barcelona.” 

“Barcelona are a brilliant team and in my opinion Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world.” (2009)

Wayne Rooney

• Joan Laporta: “He makes the difficult things look easy. He has a great attacking sense; he can go one against one, and his touch is fantastic. He is a playmaker, and he has a great team spirit. And, when needed, he scores goals which give us victories like the one at Stamford Bridge.”

Iniesta Messi Xavi Ballon Dor

Iniesta, Messi, and Xavi during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Ceremony in which the Barcelona players were the top 3 nominees, 2011 | Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

• Pedro: “As a player, he is the best example to follow. Every single youth team player should look up to him.”

Xavi: “Iniesta is easily Spain’s most complete player. He has everything.” 

• Xavi: “Playing alongside him is very easy.”

“Iniesta is easily Spain’s most complete player. He has everything.”

Xavi

David Silva: “The press often ask me about whether Messi or Ronaldo is the best, but for me something is very clear: Andres Iniesta is the number one. He is able to do even more difficult things on the pitch. He is magic with the ball and so influential.”

• Dani Alves: “As a professional, as a person, and as a player, I think he’s fantastic. It’s like he’s dancing the tango. [ . . . ] I just love how he plays football so elegantly. To me, Andres is Don Andres.” 

Victor Valdes: “Andrés has been the best for years.” 

• Gerard Pique: “He is an example of a La Masia player. Technically he is unbelievable.” 

 Boris Becker: “It’s not that difficult to play well and win titles in a team like Barcelona, but it’s in the national side where you see a player’s true class. That was the case with figures like Pele, Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane. With Spain, Iniesta has shown that he is among the best players of all time and that’s why I rate him higher than Messi or Ronaldo. Even though the latter two have incredible scoring records for their clubs, they still haven’t won anything with Argentina or Portugal respectively.” 

Everyone has some kind of passion. For me, it is FC Barcelona. I started to write stories about the club I support in 2017, and have been lucky enough to be part of such a wonderful team.

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Quotes

Quotes on Lionel Messi

Zafer Cincil

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on

Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

The greatest ever quotes on the living FC Barcelona legend, Lionel Andrés Messi. Don’t miss anything that is said about the Argentine international.

A total of 135 quotes on Lionel Messi.


• Pep Guardiola: “He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does but how simple he makes everything look.He is not just the best player because he can dribble past three or four players, it is because he does it better than anyone in the world.”

• Diego Simeone: “Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world. He’s the determining factor. He’s key, he controls the pace, he directs above all the team’s attack.”

• Jürgen Klopp: “I have coached a few really good players. My dad liked Pele, but Messi is the best ever.”

• José Mourinho: “Messi is the god of football. When Messi has the ball, one on one, you’re dead.”​

•  Thiago Alcantara: “We give him the ball and stand back and watch. People often say to me they saw Pele and Maradona play. In the future, I will be able to say I saw Messi play.” 

• Tata Martino (ex-Barcelona manager): “He sees passes that most people can only see whilst watching the game on TV, not ones that you can normally see on the pitch.” – 

• Johan Cruyff: “For the world of football, Messi is a treasure because he is a role model for children around the world… Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league.”

• Neymar: “I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football.”

“Messi is the god of football. When Messi has the ball, one on one, you’re dead.”​

José Mourinho

• Arsene Wenger: “Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi.”

• Javier Mascherano: “Although he may not be human, it’s good that Messi still thinks he is.” 

• Samuel Eto’o: “Messi is God, as a person and even more as a player. I knew him when he was a boy and I’ve watched him grow. He deserves it all.” 

• Romario: “Newton and Einstein had a certain level of autism – I hope that, like them, Messi surpasses himself every day and continues to give us his beautiful brand of football.”

• Diego Maradona: “I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius.” 

Messi Pele quotes

Lionel Messi receives FIFA/FIFPro World XI award on January 9, 2012 from Brazilian legend Pele in Zurich during the FIFA Ballon d’Or event | Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

• Pele: “I like Messi a lot, he’s a great player. Technically, we’re practically at the same level.”

• Albert Ferrer (Former Barcelona and Chelsea star)“I played with Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Laudrup and Stoichkov but Messi is the best I’ve seen.”

• Gerard Pique: “It feels good to be in the same generation as him. I believe he’s the best player in the history of the 

“He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does but how simple he makes everything look. He is not just the best player because he can dribble past three or four players, it is because he does it better than anyone in the world.”

Pep Guardiola

• John Terry: “Lionel Messi is quite clearly the best player ever. It’s a pleasure to pit myself against him and when I finish my career it’s something I can look back on and know I’ve tested myself against the very best.” 

• Fabio Capello: “In my entire life I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the ‘heavy’ shirt of one of the world’s great clubs… Before a game, you can plan for everything. But Messi can produce a move that no-one expects and change the game in an instant.” 

• Mario Gomez: “I am not crazy enough to compare myself with Messi because he is the best there ever was and the best there will ever be.” 

• Adriano Galliani (AC Milano Chief): “Messi is the best player ever. And this is said by someone who has seen Maradona and Pele play.” 

• Felipe Scolari: “The only bad thing about Ronaldo’s life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would be the best player in the world for five years in a row.” 

• Michael Owen: “I can’t believe anyone can have played the game of football as well as Messi.” 

“I have coached a few really good players. My dad liked Pele, but Messi is the best ever.”

Jürgen Klopp

• Allegri: “For me, Messi is the best player in the world.”

• Pochettino: “Messi doesn’t surprise me. He is the best in the world. With a lot of space it is unbelievable how he runs and dribbles.”

• Luis Enrique: “Messi is Matrix. He’s able to stop the time and do whatever he wants. Apart from him, I have never seen anyone doing that. He is the best I’ve ever seen.”

• Zinedine Zidane: “He is always going forwards. He never passes the ball backwards or sideways. He has only one idea, to run towards the goal. So as a football fan, just enjoy the show.”

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “Messi does not need his right foot. He only uses the left and he’s still the best in the world. Imagine if he also used his right foot, Then we would have serious problems.” 

“Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi.”

Arsene Wenger

• Gary Lineker: “Fella’s a genius. Best ever by a distance in my life time. Never really saw Pele… Souness, Gullit, Venables and now Rooney agree Messi is the best they have seen. He plays a game with which we are not familiar.”

• Carlos Bilardo (Argentina WC 1986 winner Coach)“Messi defies the laws of anatomy, he must have an extra bone in his ankle.” 

• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: “Who’s better, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Messi. Ronaldo is good, but Messi is 10 times better.”

• Dani Alves: “Messi has a divine gift.” 

• Tostão: “Messi is better than Maradona; he is more complete, more consistent, more spectacular. He is reinventing the game – a mix of the real and the virtual.” 

• Bacary Sagna: “He is the best in the world. Football seems easy when he plays it.”

• Kobe Bryant: “I wear the number 10 Jersey for the US National Team in honour of the Greatest athlete I have ever seen: Messi.” 

“Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world. He’s the determining factor. He’s key, he controls the pace, he directs above all the team’s attack.”

Diego Simeone

• Radamel Falcao: “Is Messi a real player or a PlayStation character?” 

• Franz Beckenbauer: “Messi is a genius. He has everything. When I watch him, I see a player who is very, very, skilful, very clever and his left foot is like Diego Maradona’s.” 

• Gheorghe Hagi: “Messi or Cristiano? Cristiano Ronaldo is very good, but I prefer Messi. He’s incredible.”

• Miguel Angel Lotina: “Comparing CR7 to Messi is an exercise of ignorance in football. Messi is Messi and others, footballers.” 

• Pep Guardiola: “Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him. Just watch him.

• Arda Turan: “I have never seen anyone like Leo Messi. He is a miracle from God! I like it when he does his things on the field. It’s not jealousy – I feel good, for instance, when he nutmegs someone.” 

“For me, Messi is the best player in the world.”

Massimiliano Allegri

• Xavi: “It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind.” 

• Luis Figo: “For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure.” 

• Ray Hudson: “They tell me that all men are equal in God’s eyes, this player makes you seriously think about those words.” 

Messi Xavi Champions League

Messi and Xavi celebrating with the Champions League trophy after the final match between Juventus and FC Barcelona in Berlin, 2015 | Photo by PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images

• Josep Maria Bartomeu: “Life with Leo is prettier, of another colour. He is the best ever.”

• Victoria Azarenka: “Seeing Messi play is like watching a video game… What Messi does on a football field is simply unthinkable… The way he walks from side to side, and once he sees an opportunity, he simply creates magic.” 

“Messi doesn’t surprise me. He is the best in the world. With a lot of space it is unbelievable how he runs and dribbles.”

Mauricio Pochettino

• Edgar Davids: “He is an anomaly. The rest will have to wait until he falls off a little bit.” 

• Paolo Maldini: “I think he reached and surpassed the level of Maradona. He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane.”

• Gary Neville: “The only time when I have ever watched a performance where I have been genuinely mesmerised by a player was Messi for the 20 minutes before half-time in the Nou Camp against Manchester City.”

• Thiago Alcântara: “If he played in goal he’d score 25. There’s no comparison; he’s the best, a competitive animal.”

• Terry Venables: “Messi best player I ever saw? Yes, he is! He’s even better than myself (laughs). One word summarizes him: genius.”

• Gianluigi Buffon (after touching Messi’s head): “I just wanted to make sure that he’s a human being like us.”

“Messi is Matrix. He’s able to stop the time and do whatever he wants. Apart from him, I have never seen anyone doing that. He is the best I’ve ever seen.”

Luis Enrique

• Antonio Cassano: “Messi is the greatest in the history of football.”

• Terry Venables: “Messi best player I ever saw? Yes, he is! He’s even better than myself (laughs). One word summarizes him: genius.”

• Luis Enrique: “We are used to Messi showing us that he is a player from another dimension.”

• Raul (Real Madrid legend): “The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred per cent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible.” 

• Sid Lowe (football writer): “If he is so good, how can you express that? The superlatives ran out ages ago. On these pages, swearing has been tried. Or perhaps a symbol, something to signify that we have gone beyond words now.”

• Hristo Stoichkov: “Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol. Today you need a machine gun to stop Messi.” 

• Radomir Antic: “Messi is the Mozart of football.” 

“He is always going forwards. He never passes the ball backwards or sideways. He has only one idea, to run towards the goal. So as a football fan, just enjoy the show.”

Zinedine Zidane

• Carles Puyol: “This Barca will be remembered as Messi’s Barca. He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien.” 

• Luis Enrique: “Messi is the best in the world without any doubt and for me the history of football.” 

• Antonio Lobo Antunes: “There are three or four important things in life: books, friends, women… and Messi.” 

• Sandro Rosell (former Barcelona president):“Barca will never have a player like Messi again. Messi’s greatness is present on and off the field of play.” 

• F​ranck Ribery: “Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary.” 

• Ángel Di María:“My friendship with Leo is very good and it makes me very happy to wear the same shirt as the best player in the world, to be able to play alongside him and be his friend. It is something I will never forget.”

“For the world of football, Messi is a treasure because he is a role model for children around the world… Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league.”

Johan Cruyff

• Sergio Busquets: “Having Messi in the team guarantees everything. He doesn’t just score, he gives assists, he works and wins the ball. He’s the best player in the world.”

• Neymar: “It’s impossible to beat him. He is the best and I am always at his side to learn from him.”

• Josep Maria Minguella (Messi’s former agent): “I believe Leo comes from a marvelous planet, the one where exceptional people like violinists, architects, and doctors are created. The chosen people.”

• Jürgen Klopp: “Messi is the best. There must be life out there somewhere, on some other planet. Because he is too good and we are just too bad for him.”

• Antonín Panenka (on Messi’s ‘Panenka’ penalty): “The execution was the best I’ve ever seen – not too powerful, central, good elevation… Technically the goal was impressive. It is a further demonstration of (Messi’s) quality.”

“Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world. He’s the determining factor. He’s key, he controls the pace, he directs above all the team’s attack.”

Kobe Bryant

• Gerardo Grighini: “Once he performed five flick-overs against one player. The player threw himself to the ground and grabbed his feet! Five flick-overs, one after the other. On top of that he was 1.40 metres, while the other boy was 1.70.”

• Nestor Rozín (former director of NOB): “For every 100 touches, sometimes he got an ice cream and I think he made 1,100 touches and they gave him 10 ice creams.”

Messi Casillas

Lionel Messi scoring a goal under the look of Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas during the Spanish Supercup footmall match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, 2011. | Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

• Diego Rovira: “The conversations between the opposing defenders were wonderful: – We can’t stop this kid. – No. – So what we going to do? – How should I know? Didn’t you just say that he can’t be stopped?”

• Gabriel Digerolamo: “Technically he was gifted like no boy I have ever seen. He was so good that a lot of times I changed his position so he could adapt to all aspects of playing on the pitch. On one occasion I played him as sweeper, and, yes, it looked like he had been playing there all his life.”

“The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred per cent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible.”

Raul (Real Madrid legend)

• Quique Domínguez: “His opponents tried to hide the effect he had on them, but would eye him up and down with a bit of fear. He generated something inexplicable for a kid of 10 or 11 years old.”

• Eduardo Galeano: “I like Messi, because he doesn’t think he’s Messi.”

• Mario Götze: “Messi is at another level. He has set the bar very high, it’s almost impossible for anyone to get there.”

• César Luis Menotti: “We should take care of Messi, not criticize him. Take care of him otherwise we won’t make it to the next World Cup.”

• Jamie Carragher: “I haven’t kept many shirts but this is taking pride of place. I’m still in shock he remembers me.”

“Messi is the best player in history. He’s very important in my career. Thanks to him, I’ve won everything. And as person, he’s a 10.”

Gerard Piqué

• Andrea Sosa: “He was the smallest boy in class — but when it was time to play football, he was a giant.”

• Gennaro Gattuso: “He seems to toy with his opponents. He is faster, has more class and scores when he wants to.”

• Josep Bartomeu: “He’s not interested in stats or personal records, he plays for the team.”

• Ray Hudson: “He soaks up the defenders just like a paper towel soaks up milk.”

• Javier Mascherano: “It’s not easy, considering he’s the best at what he does, to stay as humble as he is and be such a down-to-earth, approachable person.”

“This Barca will be remembered as Messi’s Barca. He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien.”

Carles Puyol

• Javier Mascherano: “He is just a player who is impossible to describe. You have to watch him.”

• Mia Hamm: “He makes you hold your breath every time he touches the ball. It never seems to leave his feet. He certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time.”

Jamie Carragher: “He’s one of the best players in history alongside Maradona and Pelé. Messi hasn’t won the World Cup and some people use that to criticize him which I think is very unfair. I think Messi would be the best player if you made a team comprising all of the best players of all-time. He’s definitely the best player I’ve ever played against. What he did against Tottenham at Wembley sums up what Messi is all about. He was Man of the Match that day. He gets compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, but Messi’s something else – more relaxed, more complete – he passes, sets up and scores goals and all of that is what puts him on another level.”

• Jordi Alba: “We’re talking about the best player in the world. For us he doesn’t have a price. He is No.1 — no player can stand up to him.”

• Javier Espinosa: “Messi never stopped being the best player in the world. He’s above the rest.”

• José Mari Bakero: “Messi is unpredictable. When he sees opponent’s move, he can decide in a millisecond to do something else.”

• Mario Balotelli: “There is only one player who is a little stronger than me – Messi. All the others are behind me.”

“He’s the best in history, no doubt.”

Ronaldinho

• Ronaldo (O Fenômeno): “Does Messi deserve to be called the greatest player in the world? Yes, for sure.”

• Ronaldo (O Fenômeno): “Messi seems more complete than Cristiano to me — at least more decisive. In the important moments, he appears and scores.”

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool Legend): “He’s an incredible footballer. I think the best ever, the best there will ever be. He’s just an absolute pleasure to watch.”

Messi Ibrahimovic Ronaldo

Ruud Gullit asking Lionel Messi a question during the FIFPro World XI and Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich, 2014 | Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

• Henk ten Cate: “Ronaldo is a top player, it’s a shame that he’s in Messi’s era — he’ll always be 2nd best regardless of the Ballon d’Or.”

• John Carlin: “Messi is much more than being clever. He is a genius who reserves all his expressiveness for football.”

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “Who’s better, Messi or Zlatan? — After what Leo has done in recent years, there’s no debate.”

• Andrea Pirlo: “He has achieved so much, but I’m sure he’ll achieve so much more. Everybody knows he’s one of the greatest ever already.”

“It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind.”

Xavi

• Francesc Fàbregas: “His individual efforts are so big that they contribute to the whole team and the club in general.”

• Alan Shearer: “He creates his goals from absolutely nothing — more so than anyone that I’ve ever seen.”

Mark Lawrenson (Liverpool Legend): “Messi is the best footballer I have ever seen and I have been fortunate enough to see the best from Pele through to Diego Maradona and now Messi. I was a nine-year-old kid in the stands and I remember seeing Pele being kicked into oblivion at Goodison Park, but he still showed flashes of brilliance and I never thought I’d see a player as good as Maradona. Messi is that player and better. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. The guy does things that take the breath away and he does it week after week, year after year.”

• Fran Escribá: “Messi is so good that he can even get around the 3 players you send after him & still notice the 2 teammates he has in space.”

• Ray Hudson: “Messi invents passing lanes, he doesn’t look for them.”

• Ray Hudson: “He abides in the magnetic spectrum of genius with the ball. Pure footballing magic.”

• José Mourinho: “I am saying that a team with that boy is a different team, is a different story.”

Graeme Souness (Liverpool Legend): “I am more than 60 years old now, and I don’t believe that I’ve seen, or that I’m likely to see, anyone better in my lifetime. The world’s best when I was growing up was Pele and he would have been a great player now, too, but Messi surpasses him. He’s also way out ahead of Diego Maradona – it’s not even close anymore.”

“Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary.”

Frank Ribery

• José Mourinho: “The only way to stop Messi is to double mark him. One player to stay on him and the other to help out.”

• Deco: “A football genius and a personal friend of mine. Simply the best I ever had the pleasure of playing with at club level.”

• Barack Obama: “Me and Messi, we’re right up there.”

• Ken Earlys: “Messi is an impassive minimalist whose face barely changes even when he’s bouncing on the ground after getting kicked.”

• Sor Lucía Caram: “He is so perfect when he plays football — it seems divine.”

• Gerard Piqué: “Messi is the best player in history. He’s very important in my career. Thanks to him, I’ve won everything. And as person, he’s a 10”

• Gary Lineker: “A guide to how good Messi is, is that by comparison, Luis Suárez looks average.”

“Does Messi deserve to be called the greatest player in the world? Yes, for sure.”

Ronaldo O Fenômeno

• Gary Lineker: “Messi always makes the right decision, whether it’s a pass or a finish — he’s a little genius.”

• Raúl González: “I was lucky that I play[ed] with Zidane, with Cristiano Ronaldo, with Ronaldo, with Figo… but against, I think Messi…

is very different; he makes everything look so easy, so effortless – even the impossible.”

• Tostão: “Messi is better than Maradona; he is more complete, more consistent, more spectacular. He is reinventing the game – a mix of the real and the virtual.”

Phil Thompson (Liverpool Legend): “The more I see of Messi the more I’m convinced he’s the greatest of all time. He is a genius, what he does is like Leonardo Di Vinci. He’s everything you want to see in a player, the way he plays it with a smile on his face. I saw quite a bit of Pele and Maradona and it was difficult to split them but I’d go Messi, Pele, Maradona and then Ronaldo.”

• Gary Lineker: “[Messi is the] best passer, best dribbler, best finisher I’ve ever seen.”

• Gary Lineker: “Anyone still arguing? He’s the Messiah. I should know, I’ve followed a few.”

Messi Ronaldinho Eto

Messi holding his Golden Boy trophy before the League match against Celta alongside Ronaldinho and Eto’o, 2005 | Photo by CESAR RANGEL/AFP via Getty Images

• Ronaldinho: “He’s the best in history, no doubt. Nobody has done what Messi’s done. I hope he plays 20 more years. Those who love football would love to have him here for much longer. I think, when he leaves, nobody will be able to take the No. 10 of Leo.”

Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool Legend): “In Lionel Messi, Barca also have one of the finest footballers the world has ever seen.”

• Sacha Kljestan: “Messi is the king of team sports. You know how much I love basketball, but Messi is on another level.”

• Neymar: It’s impossible to beat him. He is the best and I am always at his side to learn from him.”

• Thiago Alcantara: “If he played in goal he’d score 25. There’s no comparison; he’s the best, a competitive animal.”

“Messi invents passing lanes, he doesn’t look for them.”

Ray Hudson (famous commentator)

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “Who’s better, Messi or Zlatan? — After what Leo has done in recent years, there’s no debate.”

Frank Lampard: “Not only is he a genius on the ball that toys with defenders that dribbles and twists and turns, but the critical stuff, the really efficient stuff where he either scores goals or assists goals, he does brilliantly as well. As an attacking player, the most complete player in history. For sure, at least that I’ve seen live. Without a doubt.”

Roy Keane: “I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them.”

Ryan Giggs: “But Messi is a genius, he’s a once in a lifetime player. It’s as simple as that.”

Paul Scholes: “I think about the great players with whom I have shared a pitch: Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Pirlo, Xavi, Ronaldo, and the greatest of them all, is Messi.”

Paul Scholes: “I am not ashamed to admit that in the games against Barcelona I spent a lot of the time just hoping he would take up positions as far away from me as possible.”

David Luiz: “Messi is fantastic, the best player ever.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “If they had given me the Ballon d’Or, I would personally hand it over to Messi the next day.”

“Cristiano Ronaldo is sensational, a very good professional, an incredible goalscoring machine for many years, but Messi is the most complete player I have seen.”

Joaquin Low (Germany Manager)

Alan Shearer (Premier League all-time top scorer): “Messi the best ever. Goals. Skill. Work rate. Attitude. An artist.”

Fabio Capello: “There are three geniuses in football, Pele, Diego Maradona and Messi.”

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