Lionel Messi has been hugely influential in Barcelona's success over recent years, but there's real reason to believe that he is the best ever.

With a record of 223 goals in 252 appearances his goal-record is second to none. He has also shown us goals that just do not compare to anything else with his tight dribbling control and his ability to take it around anyone at the last moment.

The 5ft 7in frame was an issue at the early stages of his youth career at Barcelona but he has used this to his advantage, having the balance and agility to take anyone on.

He also has awards to show for his abilities, achieving a record four Ballon d'Or awards winning the Champions League three times. These are only being a small percentage of his awards, showing that his quality has been transferred to his team. 

There are aspects to consider, however: he has never won the World Cup and still has a long career ahead of him. Players to contest Messi to this title consist of Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cryuff who have all won the prestigious title other than Messi and Cryuff. This is something that Messi will be craving with almost every other title to his name except for the bigger prize in world football.

We can also not forget about the 'best, second best player in the world': Cristiano Ronaldo.

The ex-Manchester United man has proved that he was worth the world record transfer fee at the time, being the all around player that makes him a match winner. His power yet pace combine to make him near impossible to stop on his day.

Messi often stays out of the match for long periods of the game, but when he gains possession of the ball, there is an anticipation inside the Camp Nou that almost sends shivers down the oppositions back.

His lethal left foot and ability to win the game against the best sides in the world is enough for me to class him as the best ever. That World Cup victory is surely one in sight for the Argentine superstar.  

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