Lionel Messi is such a good footballer that he can practically play with any player on the planet and make them look better.
The Barcelona and Argentina forward has possessed an almost telepathic understanding with several of his current and former teammates over the past 15 years, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Ronaldinho and Jordi Alba.
His understanding with Alba is remarkable. Messi knows exactly where and when the full-back will run and, more often than not, picks him out with one of his laser-guided left-footed passes.
However, there is another player who Messi possessed an even more incredible on-field understanding with.
If you attended a Barcelona match between 2008-2016, there’s a good chance you witnessed the breathtaking sight of Messi warming up with Dani Alves before a game.
The two South Americans would stand roughly 40 yards apart and ping the ball to each other without it touching the ground. This would last minutes.
There’s a brief clip of Messi and Alves’s pre-match warm-up drill in the following video, which shows how the former teammates gave the one-two a ‘new dimension’.
The superb six-minute video has been retweeted almost 5,000 times since it was uploaded on Tuesday. It’s also been ‘liked’ almost 16,000 times.
If you see a better six-minute video this week, we’d love to see it.
What made their on-pitch understanding all the more remarkable is the fact they’re such different characters.
Alves is loud, brash, full of life and loves laughing and fooling around with everybody.
Messi, on the other hand, is a lot quieter, more reserved and doesn’t particularly enjoy the limelight - it’s just part and parcel of being the world’s greatest footballer, unfortunately for him.
But together, whenever they crossed the white line, it was like they were best friends who’d grown up playing together at their local park. They knew each other’s game inside out and this chemistry undoubtedly benefitted Barça during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.
Alves eventually left the Camp Nou for Juventus in 2016 and Messi hasn’t had the same understanding with a right-back since.