Ruud van Nistelrooy says Lionel Messi is Ronaldo, Iniesta, Salah and Hazard rolled into one

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There are few adjectives left to describe Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona maestro could retire today and he might still go down as the greatest footballer of all-time.

Thankfully, that’s not about to happen. Messi is in his thirties now but the fire hasn’t left him.

And he remains at the top of his game. He’s turned Barcelona’s season around since returning from a groin injury and capped a remarkable 2018/19 season by winning FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of the Year award in September.

Over the years we’ve heard some terrific tributes about the magician from Rosario.

Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov once said he can only be stopped by a machine gun. Luis Figo compared the experience of watching him to having an orgasm.

And former Holland striker Ruud van Nisterlrooy has now weighed in with his own special tribute to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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“There is no-one who is at his level, he seems to play like a Playstation player,” Van Nisterlrooy told Sport.

“Nobody comes close to Messi. Tell me who... Cristiano (Ronaldo) is a goal scorer, (Andres) Iniesta is a brain, (Mohamed) Salah, (Sadio) Mane, (Eden) Hazard and (Kylian) Mbappe are excellent players, but Messi is all that together.”

Van Nistelrooy played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at both Manchester United and Real Madrid, but he’s made it clear that he believes Messi is the GOAT.

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And the Barcelona star can strengthen that argument by claiming a sixth Ballon d’Or award later this year.

Messi was listed among the 30 nominees for the award but it appears to be a straight battle between himself and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.

Van Dijk earned UEFA’s Player of the Year; Messi won FIFA’s equivalent.

The bookies have Van Dijk as the favourite but either would be a worthy winner when the ceremony is held in Paris on December 2.

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