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Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy believes nobody comes close to Lionel Messi  

Published Oct 23, 2019
Oct 23, 2019 IST

Lionel Messi has Ruud van Nistelrooy
Lionel Messi has Ruud van Nistelrooy's seal of approval.

What's the story?

Lionel Messi, the Barcelona talisman, has been hailed as the No.1 player in the world yet again, this time by former Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy, who also said that the left-footed genius is on a completely different level to his contemporaries.

In case you didn't know...

Back in September, Messi won the Men's Player of the Year at FIFA's The Best awards, beating his adversary Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk to the prize.

It was his sixth time being voted as the winner of the prestigious award, becoming the first player to do so. He also moved clear of his old foe Ronaldo, who has five honors to his name, with his last win coming in 2017 with Real Madrid.

Messi is part of the recently announced 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist, where he is joined by UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award winner Van Dijk, Ronaldo and 27 other top players.

The heart of the matter...

Messi remains as strong as ever in the Barcelona jersey. He had a wonderful season last time around, winning the European Golden Boot, Pichichi trophy as well as being the top scorer in last season's UEFA Champions League.

He is regarded as the GOAT by many and former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy also jumped on the bandwagon and expressed just how highly he rates the Argentine maestro. He placed him on a pedestal, claiming that he is the best player in the world, before adding,

"There is no-one who is at his level, he seems to play like a PlayStation player".

Van Nistlerooy further went on to describe the 32-year-old as the perfect player, a combination of Ronaldo, Iniesta, Salah, Mané, Hazard and Mbappé, who -- mind you -- are some of the biggest names in the game.

"Nobody comes close to Messi. Tell me who... Cristiano (Ronaldo) is a goal scorer, (Andres) Iniesta is a brain, (Mohamed) Salah, (Sadio) Mané, (Eden) Hazard and (Kylian) Mbappé are excellent players, but Messi is all that together."

What's next?

After bagging the Men's Player of the Year at FIFA's The Best awards, Messi is now in contention to lift a record sixth Ballon d'Or and break his duck since 2015.

Barcelona visit Slavia Praha in their upcoming UEFA Champions League group stage fixture next

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