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Lionel Messi news: Barcelona star hails Argentine's contribution in making him a better footballer

ANALYST
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590   //    Timeless
Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg
Lionel Messi

What's the story?

Barcelona star Jordi Alba has heaped lavish praise on the team's talisman Lionel Messi, claiming that the Argentine maestro has made him a better player.

In case you didn't know...

Messi is continuing to prove that he is at a different level, as he keeps delivering sensational performances to win matches for the Blaugrana almost every week. He is enjoying one of his best campaigns so far despite the fact that he will turn 32 soon.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is leading the race for the European Golden Shoe with 34 league goals. He also leads the charts for goals scored in UEFA Champions League, with 12 so far.

The Argentine will lead Barcelona as they face Liverpool in the closing leg of their Champions League semi-final fixture later tonight. Messi scored a majestic brace in the first leg to help his team earn a three-goal advantage, and he will want to ensure his team's qualification to the finals of the competition after years.

Jordi Alba on his part has been a pivotal member for Barcelona over the years. The Spaniard shares good chemistry with Messi, and he provided a vital assist for Luis Suarez against Liverpool in the first leg.

The heart of the matter

The 31-year-old Argentine's impact on the pitch remains second to none, and Alba has admitted that Messi helped him become a better footballer.

In his interview with France Football, the left-back said:

"To me, Leo hasn't changed [as a person]. Our relationship has always been the same - it's very good. We've been playing together for seven years and he's made me a better footballer."

"As for football, he's even better than before, which seemed impossible because he was the best in the world!" Alba added.

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The Spaniard also revealed that he carries himself in a very light-hearted fashion in the dressing room.

"I like to make jokes. It's fundamental in the dressing room. It makes life more fun and enjoyable," Alba said.

What's next?

Liverpool will host Barcelona in Anfield for the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals. Having already secured the LaLiga title, the Catalan giants are eyeing a treble again, and a win tonight would be a major step in that direction for them.

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