The Argentine midfield maestro has been named the best player in the world in 2015, claiming his fifth Ballon d’Or award on Monday night in Zurich.
There is no superlative left in the dictionary that has not been used to describe this footballing genius. Yet more praise was poured on Leo Messi after his latest triumph and here are a few of what football’s luminaries had to say about the unbelievable Argentine.
“To win his fifth Ballon d’Or means a lot. It means that the world of football recognises that the best player of all time is Leo Messi.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu
“I congratulate Messi for his 5th Ballon d’Or. This confirms he is the best player in the world, as I have stated many times.”
Pele, Brazilian legend
“Messi is better than Maradona; he is more complete, more consistent, more spectacular. He is reinventing the game – a mix of the real and the virtual.”
Tostao, Brazilian football great
“For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure.”
Luis Figo, Portuguese Ballon d’Or winner
“I have played against Platini, Maradona, Cruyff and played with George Best – a lot of big names, but none of them has been able to do what Messi does. Two years ago I said that the best player I played against was Maradona and the best player I have played with was Bestie. But I can now say I have never seen a player as good as Messi. He’s in a league of his own.”
Gerry Armstrong, Northern Ireland international
“Lionel Messi is quite clearly the best player ever. It’s a pleasure to pit myself against him and when I finish my career it’s something I can look back on and know I’ve tested myself against the very best.”
John Terry, Chelsea captain