“Messi is the greatest of all time”- claims former Spain and Barcelona legend

Barcelona v Panathinaikos FC - UEFA Champions League David Villa and Lionel Messi
Barcelona v Panathinaikos FC - UEFA Champions League David Villa and Lionel Messi
Debjit Ghoshal

What is the story?

Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa has heaped praise on his former team mate Lionel Messi and hailed him the “greatest ever” to embrace the beautiful game.

In case you didn’t know….

Villa played a crucial part during Barcelona’s trophy laden season of 2010-11 under the management of Pep Guardiola. Villa’s form going forward helped the Catalan giants to register a record of 147 goals across all competition throughout the campaign and helped them to win their 4th Champions League after beating Manchester United 3-1 in the final at Wembley.

Messi’s position in the history of football has been a hot topic for discussion in the last 5-6 years. The Ballon d’or winner's achievement in the Blaugrana colors has made people think about whether he is the greatest ever to embrace the beautiful game or not.

On the other hand, his critics have always mentioned his poor run of form and his inability to inspire the national side in the World stage.

However, Lionel Messi has been at the peak of his powers throughout this current campaign. The Argentine wizard has already scored 43 times across all competitions, including eight goals in the UEFA Champions League. There is no shame in admitting the fact that it is only because of him, Barcelona are still in contention for a possible treble this season.

The heart of the matter…

In an interview with Reuters, the current Vissel Kobe striker said:

"Leo Messi is the greatest player of all time," as quoted by Marca.

When asked to compare with other greats of the game, Villa was crystal clear in his thoughts.

"Obviously with the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, I didn't have the chance to watch them like I used to see Messi every day, in every game," he added.

"But, in my opinion, Messi's the best."

What's next?

Lionel Messi is expected to be in the starting line-up for Barcelona as they will host Manchester United at Camp Nou in the return leg of UEFA Champions league quarter-final tie on Tuesday night.

Edited by Emeka Monyei
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