Top 10 quotes on Lionel Messi
Top 10 quotes on Lionel Messi
It's not easy to stay at the top but Gillette has done so with its constant innovation, the latest of which is its Flexball Razor Technology which has rebuilt shaving. Similarly, Lionel Messi has maintained his status as the best player in the world by constantly adding new facets to his game.
Over the course of a staggering career with Barcelona and Argentina so far, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner has produced moments of magic that have left the footballing world speechless. Nevertheless, some of the biggest names in the beautiful game have tried their very best to describe his genius, often exhausting superlatives in the process. Out of the countless plaudits Messi has been graced with, Goal lists the top ten quotes used to exalt the diminutive forward's brilliance, uttered from some of the most revered personalities in football...
1. Diego Maradona
Messi was likened to Diego Maradona ever since he burst onto the scene at Barcelona. His physical stature, nationality, pace and incredible dribbling ability contributed to an uncanny resemblance to the Argentine legend. When the Barcelona forward scored a goal with his hand against Recreativo de Huelva in 2006, comparisons to Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal were drawn.
Then six months later, Messi picked the ball up on the half way line, dribbled past half the Getafe team and scored. From that point on he was officially dubbed, 'The New Maradona'. It wasn't long before the former World Cup winner pronounced Messi as his successor himself.
2. Luis Figo
At some point or another, Messi has left us all at a loss for words. Evidently, Portuguese legend Luis Figo is no exception. The former Real Madrid and Barcelona star was once so enamoured by the Argentine's phenomenal ability that his eloquence evaded him but his rather interesting choice of words made for a fantastic quote and left a lasting impression. Anyone passionate enough about football and privileged enough to witness Messi in full flight gets his meaning.
"For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure."
3. Roy Keane
Football's quintessential hard-man Roy Keane has never been generous with his compliments but extremely out-spoken when it comes to dishing out criticism. Just ask his former Manchester United team-mates who were given a dressing down by the Irishman in an interview on the club's official channel MUTV back in 2005. For him of all people to fail to find fault in a player is incredible. Keane has nothing but praise for Messi and that speaks volumes of the Barcelona man's excellence.
"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."
Until recently Raul was Real Madrid's all-time leading goal scorer, a title now held by Messi's greatest competitor Cristiano Ronaldo. The Spaniard was a phenomenal finisher and an absolute legend for Barcelona's great rivals. He played alongside the Brazilian Ronaldo, a striker whose quick feet would see him dance past the best defenders for fun. However, he was mesmerised by the manner with which Messi ran with the ball.
"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."
5. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is the Godfather of Barcelona football. He was one of the greatest players of all time and after serving the club during his playing career, he returned to build an empire at the Camp Nou as a manager and brought unprecedented success. He pioneered the Dutch 'Total Football' philosophy at the Spanish club and has always been a great judge of talent. Before Messi picked up a record fourth Ballon d'Or award, Cruyff made the bold prediction that the Argentine would go on to win many more and at present, he seems to be on track.
6. John Terry
The former England captain is widely regarded as the best defender in the history of the Premier League and with good reason. In his prime, Terry was as good a defender as any and has thwarted some top-notch attackers. Yet, his sentiment in relation to Messi is one shared by several top class professional who have gone toe-to-toe with the Barcelona superstar. He counts himself lucky to have been given the opportunity to face the ultimate player, the absolute best.
"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."
7. Paolo Maldini
Keeping with great defenders, they don't come any better than the legendary Paolo Maldini. The AC Milan and Italy icon is the epitome of the traditional Italian defender. He's seen the best and played with the best and firmly believes that Messi has long since surpassed Maradona, a bold statement but coming from him, one that resonates.
“I think he reached and surpassed the level of Maradona. He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane."
8. Thierry Henry
The Frenchman belongs to an elite class of strikers, ones who not only scored plenty of goals and won several trophies, but regularly did things out of the ordinary. The former Arsenal man was breath-taking in his prime. He was devastatingly quick, lethal in front of goal and had the confidence to pull off the audacious. Yet, he found himself in awe of Messi at times during his stint with Barcelona. Such is the nature of the Argentine's gift that he could even leave the great Henry transfixed.
“What Leo does is so incredible that I have to be careful not to stand still watching him make his moves.”
9. Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola presided over the most successful period in Barcelona's history. His team has even been considered as possibly the all-time greatest at club level and Messi was very much at the centre of it. The Spaniard brought the best out of his talisman and played a big part in his career but has counted himself fortunate to have worked with Messi, the best player he coached or ever will coach according to him. Ultimately though, he leaves the rest of us who scramble for words to do justice to the player's ability with a great piece of advice.