Former-Liverpool forward Ryan Babel admits he’s yet to live up to his full potential but says not every footballer can reach the heights of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Messi is the world’s best player, a three-time Ballon d’Or winner, and the Barcelona forward is going for a fourth consecutive award this November.

And Babel, who enjoyed spells with Liverpool and Hoffenheim before returning to his boyhood club Ajax this summer, admits Leo Messi is the benchmark.

“A footballer mostly has his best years between 25 and 29, so I don’t think I have shown my full potential yet,” Babel told FIFA.com.

“We can’t all be Lionel Messi, even if we want to.”

The Dutch international signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2007 for £11.5m, and the winger spent four years at Anfield. But he failed to live up to expectations, and moved to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga before eventually opting to return to Holland and Ajax.

But the 25-year-old has no regrets about his time in England.

“I also had a great time in England playing for Liverpool,” said Babel. “I think it could have been much greater if I was guided better but I have no regrets choosing to play for such a big club.

“I wish things could have been different but I still have a big connection with the club and the fans."

Since returning to Ajax, Babel has been in good form, scoring twice in four appearances for the Amsterdam club.

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