Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time - thanks to his incredible abilities that fetched him 5 Ballon d'Or awards, 5 European Golden Shoes, 4 UEFA Champions League trophies, 9 LaLiga titles, 6 Copa Del Rey triumphs as well as many other honours within the space of 14 years.
Having spent all his years as a professional footballer representing FC Barcelona, many superstars had the opportunity to share the dressing room with him at the Nou Camp.
While most of these players enjoyed their time playing in the same team with the diminutive Argentine winning plenty of trophies as well as witnessing a lot of magical moments, only a few of them were really able to establish an enviable relationship with the playmaker on the football field.
From incredible defenders to fantastic midfielders and down to amazing forwards, we take a look at the top 5 ex-Barcelona superstars who enjoyed a perfect connection with the playmaker on the pitch during their time at Camp Nou.
As an upcoming talent, Messi needed the support of a mature and established player to help him reach his potential quickly and he got enough of that from Brazilian legend Ronaldinho, who was at the heart of events at Barcelona during the early stages of Leo's career.
The ex-Barcelona midfielder played a huge role in Messi's development, welcoming the Argentine into the squad following his promotion to the first team in 2004 and making him feel comfortable in the dressing room.
During their time together at the Nou Camp, Ronaldinho was a huge mentor, guiding the young attacker on the pitch and providing the necessary support in order to get the best out of him. He provided the assist for Messi to score his first Barcelona goal during a game against Albacete on May 1, 2005, and the Argentine has gone further to score over 500 goals for the Catalan giants so far.
#4. Xavi Hernandez
One of the finest central midfielders of all time, Spanish International Xavi Hernandez is also one of the few Barcelona superstars who were able to establish a fruitful connection with the Argentine maestro during their time together at the Nou Camp.
Also a product of La Masia, Messi and Xavi both emanated from the same Barcelona youth system, and although the midfielder became a Blaugrana before Messi, they both shared the brightest moments of their careers together.
Both superstars were pioneers of Barcelona's golden era under Pep Guardiola, enforcing the Blaugrana's famous tiki-taka system that brought a lot of fortune to the Nou Camp including a historic sextuple in 2009. They shared a telepathic relationship during their times together and they could find each other on the pitch even with their eyes closed.
#3. Andres Iniesta
Similar to Xavi, Andres Iniesta is also a product of Barcelona's famous academy, La Masia - the same that produced Messi and a host of other Barcelona superstars including the likes of Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Rafinha Alcantara, and Sergi Roberto.
Their connection was a great joy to watch, with the Argentine functioning as a false centre-forward and Iniesta deployed as an attacking midfielder, and they combined perfectly to tear opposition defences apart while maintaining a strong telepathic understanding between each other.
Like Xavi, Iniesta also enjoyed the brightest moments of his career alongside Messi during Barca's Golden Era under Pep Guardiola and they won a lot of trophies at the Nou Camp, including the UEFA Champions League, the LaLiga, the Copa Del Rey as well as sharing the Ballon d'Or podium on a number of occasions.
#2. Neymar Junior
The only attacker on the list, Paris Saint Germain winger Neymar Junior is also among the few ex-Barcelona superstars who shone alongside Argentine maestro Messi during their time together at the Nou Camp
The Brazilian joined the Catalan giants in a mega move from his native club, Santos FC during the summer of 2013 and while he did prove his amazing talent alongside Messi in his first year at the club, it is actually the following season that his relationship with the Argentine really skyrocketed.
With the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool in 2014, Barcelona arranged perhaps the greatest attacking trio in football history, with the Uruguayan joining Neymar and Messi at the Nou Camp to form a deadly attacking trident famously called the 'MSN'.
Messi was the head but Neymar played a fantastic role during their time together, with the Brazilian scoring freely and ensuring that the team did not lack creativity. He also had a telepathic understanding with his attacking mates and they were able to score over 100 goals in each of the three seasons they spent together.
#1. Dani Alves
Paris Saint Germain superstar Dani Alves is another Brazilian player who enjoyed a stellar Barcelona career during his time in the Catalan capital and despite being a defender, he was able to establish an exciting connection with Messi on the pitch.
The right-back played a great role in Messi's success, demonstrating clear understanding with the Argentine on the pitch as they combined perfectly on the right flank to tear down opposition defences - producing magical moments and leading Barcelona from victory to victory.
Alves is the player who provided Messi with the most assists in his career, with a whopping 31 assists to his name and they had a great time together winning a lot of trophies including the UEFA Champions League, the LaLiga, the Copa Del Rey as well many other honours before the Brazilian departed for Juventus in the summer of 2016.