Ander Herrera admits Lionel Messi almost made him cry

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has admitted he was close to tears watching Lionel Messi's performance for Barcelona against Manchester City last week.

In an in-depth interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Herrera was asked when he last cried watching football.

"The last time I cried? I almost cried watching Messi against Man City," he admitted. "He's so good! But anyway, I get emotional very easily."

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Messi was magnificent against Man City

Messi produced one of the best individual performances of the season against City at the Camp Nou last week, putting on a first-half masterclass to help Barcelona secure a 1-0 victory.

The Argentina international assisted the only goal of the game, scored by Ivan Rakitic, and showcased his unique talent with a series of stunning dribbles which saw him nutmeg the likes of James Milner and Fernandinho.

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Messi back to his brilliant best

Messi has rediscovered his best form after a difficult 2014, in which he still scored 41 goals in 46 appearances for Barcelona and reached the World Cup final with Argentina.

Since losing out to Cristiano Ronaldo in the voting for the 2014 Ballon d'Or award, Messi has been in breathtaking form, scoring 20 goals in all competitions.

Currently the favourite to lift the 2015 Ballon d'Or - for what would be a record-breaking fifth time - Messi in this current rich vein of form is virtually unstoppable.

Gary Neville left speechless by Messi

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, one of the most talented young coaches in the game, admitted in his latest Telegraph column that he felt like a 'kid in a sweet shop' watching the South American wizard working his magic out on the Camp Nou pitch last week.

"I’ll go further and say I’ve never felt that way in a football stadium," Neville added. "I’m referring to the 20 minutes Messi produced before half-time, which were out of this world.

"In the commentary box I exhausted my vocabulary of descriptive terms, even using the word ‘barbaric.’ It was certainly scandalous. Special. I just found myself unable to focus on the more detailed aspects of the game."

Messi less instrumental in the Clasico

Messi was not able to produce the same mesmeric performance during Sunday night's Clasico against Real Madrid, but he still produced the assist which led to Barcelona's opening goal, scored by Jeremy Mathieu.

Ronaldo levelled the scores on the half-hour mark, tapping home following an exquisite back-heel by Karim Benzema, but Luis Suarez earned all three points for the Catalan giants with a cool finish from a lofted Dani Alves pass.

Messi the early favourite to win 2015 Ballon d'Or

Messi's chances of winning the 2015 Ballon d'Or will increase if he inspires Barcelona to the league title, while Champions League glory also remains a possibility.

Furthermore, Messi - who has scored 43 goals in 39 appearances so far this term - will aim to inspire Argentina to the Copa America title in Chile this summer.

If he succeeds and Barcelona win at least one major trophy this season then it will take something special from Ronaldo in the second half of the year to finish above Messi in the voting for the next Ballon d'Or award.

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La Liga
Lionel Messi
Premier League
Manchester United
Ander Herrera

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