Lionel Messi has scored countless goals and decided plenty of matches all on his own, but there has never been any doubt that he has been surrounded by some quality players and team-mates.
Having won almost every individual and club prize available, Messi has time and again acknowledged the importance of his team-mates in his continued success. Having spent most of his time at Barcelona, it is no surprise that all his favourite team-mates are from the Catalan giants.
Without much ado, let us take a look at Messi’s 5 favourite team-mates:
The Brazilian magician arguably changed Barcelona’s fortunes single-handedly when he made the move to Catalan giants Barcelona in 2003. However, when Messi first burst onto the scene, the Barcelona great was in decline and Messi was seen as Ronaldinho’s long term replacement.
And Messi has time and again revealed how Ronaldinho helped him feel comfortable and made him a part of the first team squad. Speaking to BarcaTV, Messi said:
"Before leaving the club [Ronaldinho] was coming off a few months where he was thinking about things," Messi said.
"He had it in his mind that he was leaving and he told me to have his number. I took it without looking at what he had done with the shirt. If I did, I would not have taken it."
"Everyone welcomed me into the dressing room, and [Ronaldinho] welcomed me in a spectacular way," he said.
"To go into that dressing room was not easy but he made it all so much easier. I was very comfortable by not only Ronnie's welcoming but everyone.
"Those who came up from the [Barca] B sat on the other side [to the main group]. The locker room did a 'U' and we sat in-front, and there came a moment that [Ronaldinho] told me to go to his side and that I no longer needed to be where I was anymore.
"There was a spot free and there was Deco and [Thiago] Motta right there, and he sat me right beside them. I must admit at the start it was hard.
"But he said no, that I was good where I was until I basically obliged to sit there."
Messi has gone on to win 5 Ballon d’Ors and multiple La Liga and Champions League titles wearing Ronaldinho’s number 10 jersey and the Argentine maestro to this day looks back fondly on the mentorship and friendship offered by Ronaldinho.