Barcelona legend Carles Puyol has no doubts over former team-mate Lionel Messi’s credentials as football’s greatest player in history.
The 31-year-old continues to be at the top of his game following another prolific campaign for Barcelona, which has seen him manage 45 goals and 21 assists in 42 appearances.
Messi again sent everybody a timely reminder of his quality by finding the back of the net twice to help Barcelona seal a 3-0 second leg win over Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final tie to book their spot in the next round.
The Flea’s contributions have put Barcelona within the brink of winning a treble in his first season as captain as it’s only a matter of time before they win La Liga. While a Copa del Rey final against Valencia awaits them next month.
Therefore, former Blaugrana skipper Puyol has no doubts over Messi’s place in football history.
“He is playing at an incredible level,” Puyol told Goal.
“For me, he is the best ever player in the history of the game.
“He has shown that season after season and you can see how his game has evolved, all the things he now does. And you can see he’s improving every year with new attributes he has brought to his game.
“He has improved in every way and he is taking a step forward on a personal level. He has always been a leader on the field but now, you can see that he is a leader on and off the pitch.
“He is an introverted person but now you can see that he is leading from the front as the captain of Barcelona.”
In fact, Brazilian legend Rivaldo stated on Friday that Messi has already proven he deserves the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
For now, though, Messi’s focus will be on this evening’s La Liga clash between Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou. The match will kick-off at 20:45 (CEST).