"He is the bane of Real Madrid in the last 10 or 15 years, and Madrid have suffered a lot."
Few have described Lionel Messi's relationship with Real Madrid, quite like Xavi and the Spaniard is absolutely spot on.
Messi may have lost out on the individual awards this year, but he's entering Saturday's El Clasico as the strong favourite.
Cristiano Ronaldo hoovered up the Ballon d'Or and FIFA's 'The Best' award after a scintillating 2016-17 season, yet hasn't emerged from second gear since the summer. If Messi can transfer his flying form into the New Year, he'll be hopeful of retaining his titles.
And while the two legends share a glut of records, Messi is the the king when it comes to El Clasico.
The 30-year-old has produced an unrivalled tally of 24 goals across 34 appearances in arguably football's most lucrative clash.
Furthermore, Messi has never been in better form against Real Madrid. Having nearly derailed Los Blancos' title challenge with a last minute winner at the Bernabeu last season, Blaugrana are eyeing up a record, third consecutive win in the Spanish capital.
When you look at the league table, you would put it past them. Barcelona command a dizzying 11 point lead over their rivals and Messi's goal tally stands 10 strikes higher than his advisory.
Moreover, there's just something about the Argentine that thrives in the biggest matches.
His unbelievable record against Real Madrid began just over 10 years ago when Messi produced his first hat-trick for the club in El Clasico.
From that epic night in Catalunya to his latest exploits in April, there are so many special moments that it was inevitable his El Clasico highlights would be boiled down into the medium of a YouTube video.
There are several compilations out there but few have done it quite like 'Bouva.'
As well as showing the famous goals and assists, it serves to immortalise the endless moments Messi has sat down some of the world's finest players with incredible moments of skill.
Take a look at the epic below:
You wouldn't exactly blame Real Madrid for feeling a little nervous in the face of a Messi reunion.
Zinedine Zidane's men need a serious result over the weekend to keep their title hopes alive and stop Messi from getting one over them in almost every aspect.
Let's be honest, though, history doesn't bode well for a team that, even as Champions League holders, have to bow down to the GOAT every now and then.
Do you think Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time? Have your say in the comments section below.
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