Spanish international striker David Villa has thanked Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi for making him a better player.

The 29-year-old forward moved to the Nou Camp from Valencia in 2010, and won La Liga and Champions League honours during his first season in Catalonia.

Villa has also become Spain's all-time top goalscorer in the last year, and he believed the Argentine playmaker has had an impact in helping to improve his own game further.

"Messi is a player who demands a lot from those who play alongside him because you must always pay attention. Sometimes it seems impossible that he has seen you and yet he has," Villa told El Pais ahead of tomorrow's clash against Scotland.

"As of a result of that playing alongside him has helped me improve."

Whilst Vicente del Bosque's all conquering side are firm favourites to retain their European Championship crown in Ukraine next summer, German legend Franz Beckenbauer believes Barca are better than the national team because of Messi.


 

The pair are currently setting the benchmark in both European and International football, and whilst the two are strongly linked with the same players running through the core of the teams, it is Messi who takes Barca to the next level.

"Barcelona have set the standard in football. They play perfect football because of the finesse of their game, their mobility and the way they move the ball around," Beckenbauer told German publication Kicker.

"They're even better than the Spanish national team because they have Lionel Messi. They have the quality to successfully defend their Champions League title.

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