Peter Crouch insists Lionel Messi would be the best midfielder of all time if he played deeper

Peter Crouch thinks Messi could be the best midfielder of all time if he wanted to

Lionel Messi produced another brilliant display against Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.

The Argentine forward took the tie away from the Reds in the final 15 minutes.

He was in the right place at the right time to poke home in the 75th minute and double Barcelona's advantage.

And he then scored an incredible 35-yard free-kick to score Barca's third.

That proved to be his 600th goal for Barcelona which, coincidentally, was exactly 14 years after his first.

Messi has been getting plaudits from all over the world in the aftermath of the game.

Peter Crouch has now dedicated the majority of his column in the Daily Mail to Messi.

The former Liverpool striker branded him the greatest footballer of all time.

"I never like to see Liverpool lose but when Lionel Messi scored his second goal — that free-kick you could watch again and again and again — I had to get to my feet. It wasn't to celebrate, it was simply to acknowledge his genius," he wrote.

Lionel Messi scored twice against Liverpool

"There will come a point when I am able to tell my grandchildren that I shared a pitch with Messi. It might only amount to two minutes — 60 seconds, home and away, in a Champions League last-16 tie in 2007 — but it is in the record books.

"I will tell them repeatedly because he is the greatest footballer of all time. You try to think of new ways to talk about what he does and the best I can come up with is that he is a living monument; a footballer whom everyone should try to go to see at least once in their lives."

Crouch then claimed that if Messi decided to play deeper, he would become the best midfielder of all time, too.

"Put it this way: if he dropped back down the pitch, he would become the best midfielder of all time. His passing is extraordinary," he continued.

Lionel Messi scored a superb free-kick against Liverpool

A bold statement. There have been a number of incredible midfielders in the past, including Zinedine Zidane, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

But Crouch seems pretty confident he would be better than them all.

The 38-year-old then expanded on why he thinks Messi is so good.

"It's the little things he does. You see him floating and lurking in these pockets of space and then, suddenly, he will get the ball and start weaving his magic and spreading panic. The touch, the movement, the awareness are like nothing I have ever seen."

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