Lionel Messi has no equal and must be another life form outside of this world, says former Barcelona B winger Joan Angel Roman.
Blaugrana superstar Messi is regarded as at least one of the greatest ever footballers, with his supernatural talents receiving plenty of plaudits from opponents and critics alike.
In fact, the Argentine’s unique combination of viscous tight control, a knee-buckling turn of direction and velocity has often proved to be too much for even the world’s best defenders to handle.
And Roman, who spent three years playing for the Barcelona B team, reckons there is nobody that can match Messi upon witnessing him in action first-hand.
“I’ve never seen anyone from another planet, but it must be similar to him [Messi],” the 25-year-old told Planet Football.
“What you see on TV is what he does in training, you cannot get near him.
“His legs are so powerful, when he controls the ball, it’s like he has glue on his boot and he makes it look so easy, which makes you think you can do it too, but you try and you can’t, he is just something else. The best I have ever seen.”
Roman added: “[Andres] Iniesta and Xavi were also like they were from a different planet.
“Iniesta looked like he was floating with the ball, he would dribble past everyone like this.
“Xavi was able to control the ball with his head up and never lose control of it, it was unbelievable.
“I’ve always been so lucky to train with the best players in the world, but Messi is at another level.”
Before he joined Barcelona, however, Roman went through three youth academies at Santes Creus, Espanyol and Manchester City.
During his time at the Etihad Stadium, Roman trained alongside Kieran Trippier, Loris Karius, Adrien Rabiot and Ben Mee.
“All the youngsters I played with at City are now playing in top leagues: John Guidetti, [Omar] Elabdellaoui, Denis Suarez and Ahmad Benali,” said Roman.
“Loris is doing well too. Not everyone can be a superstar, but your schooling at City can make you know how to have a great career.”
“It’s a success [the academy] because you train with the best players, the best coaching staff, so you learn a lot.
“It makes you evolve and grow into a better player.
“You’re under the pressure that you’re training with the best, so you have to be at that level.
“It gives you a mindset of if you don’t make it into the first team at City, which is very difficult, you know that you are going to go somewhere else and make a success of it.
“Obviously it would be a success if there were more players in the first team, but this is also a success to bring so many players through that can play at the top level in other places.”
Roman now plays for Polish side Slask Wroclaw.