'Obviously there were Pele and Maradona but for me, Messi is the best', says David Villa

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga
FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga
Rachel Syiemlieh

What's the story?

Former Barcelona star David Villa has hailed current club captain Lionel Messi as 'the best' compared to football icons Pele, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona.

In case you didn't know...

Messi has played a pivotal role in Barcelona's domestic and European success so far, with 42 goals to his name in all competitions.

The Catalan giants are at the summit of the Spanish top flight, eight points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and in the race for the Champions League title after Messi's heroics against Lyon saw the side progress to the quarter-final stages of the competition.

The heart of the matter

David Villa, who played alongside Messi for three years, has heaped praise on the Argentine, stating that it is difficult to be surprised by all the success the Barca captain has achieved.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, the former Blaugrana star said:

"It is difficult to be surprised with Leo. He is the best. He has always shown everybody in the world that he is the best... Every game that you can watch him is a pleasure."

Villa even put Messi above the likes of Pele, Maradona and Cruyff, remarking:

"Obviously (there were) Pele, Maradona, players like (Johan) Cruyff. I didn't have the opportunity to watch them like I watched Messi every day, every game... But, for me, Messi is the best. He is good in everything that he does."

The former Barcelona forward also spoke about the distinct style in which Barcelona played during their glory days under Pep Guardiola.

"I am very happy with the things that we did when we played in Barcelona, with the style that we had, the trophies that we took. Soccer is changing every day and you need to accommodate yourself and your team to the things that happen in the moment. I think that it is a different Barcelona but at the same time a great team as well," he affirmed.

What's next?

Messi and Barcelona have a much-awaited clash against Atletico Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday night.

Edited by Akarshak (Ishu) Roy
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