Lionel Messi: The greatest quotes from the biggest names in football

  • Rob Swan

We all ran out of superlatives for Lionel Messi a long, long time ago.

Pep Guardiola hit the nail on the head when he said: "Don't write about him, don't try to describe him. Just watch him."

Sometimes words don’t do the Barcelona and Argentina icon justice; however, there have been some brilliant quotes about the great man from the biggest names in football down the years.

On Messi’s 33rd birthday, we thought we’d compile the best quotes from legends like Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Sir Alex Ferguson and many more.

Even Messi’s eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo features. So, without further ado, let’s begin…


"It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind."


Jose Mourinho

“Messi is the god of football. When Messi has the ball, one on one, you’re dead.”‚Äč

Luis Figo

"For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure."


Carles Puyol

"This Barca will be remembered as Messi’s Barca. He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien."


Paul Scholes

“I think about the great players with whom I have shared a pitch: Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Pirlo, Xavi, Ronaldo and the greatest of them all is Messi.”


Luis Enrique

"Messi is the best in the world without any doubt and for me the history of football."


Samuel Eto'o

"Messi is God, as a person and even more as a player. I knew him when he was a boy and I’ve watched him grow. He deserves it all."


Jurgen Klopp

“I have coached a few really good players. My dad liked Pele, but Messi is the best ever.”


Javier Mascherano

"Although he may not be human, it’s good that Messi still thinks he is."


Zinedine Zidane

"He is always going forwards. He never passes the ball backwards or sideways. He has only one idea, to run towards the goal. So as a football fan, just enjoy the show."


Johan Cruyff

"For the world of football, Messi is a treasure because he is a role model for children around the world… Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league."


Arsene Wenger

"Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi."

Diego Maradona

"I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius."


Wayne Rooney

"I just think Messi is, in my eyes, the greatest ever."



"I like Messi a lot, he’s a great player. Technically, we’re practically at the same level."


Sir Alex Ferguson

“Lionel Messi could play in the 1950s and the present day, as could Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff because they are all great players. Lionel Messi without question comes into that category.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

"Messi does not need his right foot. He only uses the left and he’s still the best in the world. Imagine if he also used his right foot, Then we would have serious problems."

Thiago Alcantara

“People often say to me they saw Pele and Maradona play. In the future, I will be able to say I saw Messi play.”


Gary Lineker

"Fella’s a genius. Best ever by a distance in my life time. Never really saw Pele… Souness, Gullit, Venables and now Rooney agree Messi is the best they have seen. He plays a game with which we are not familiar."

John Terry

"Lionel Messi is quite clearly the best player ever. It’s a pleasure to pit myself against him and when I finish my career it’s something I can look back on and know I’ve tested myself against the very best."


Roy Keane

"I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them."


Michael Owen

"I can’t believe anyone can have played the game of football as well as Messi."


Franck Ribery

“Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary.”


Radamel Falcao

"Is Messi a real player or a PlayStation character?"


Gianluigi Buffon (on meeting Messi in 2013)

"I had to touch Messi to make sure he was human like us."


Arda Turan

“I have never seen anything like Leo Messi. He is a miracle from God!”


Franz Beckenbauer

"Messi is a genius. He has everything. When I watch him, I see a player who is very, very, skilful, very clever and his left foot is like Diego Maradona’s."


Thierry Henry

"I have seen him doing stuff in training and it is just amazing. When he gets upset, he runs around the whole team. There is nothing you can do. When you have Leo Messi it is a big advantage. When you have that man in your side, anything can happen."

Pep Guardiola

"Don't write about him, don't try to describe him. Just watch him."

Cristiano Ronaldo

“I have no doubt that Messi has made me a better player and vice-versa. I have an excellent professional relationship [with him] because we have been sharing the same moments for 15 years. We've never had dinner together but I don't see why we can't in the future. I don't see a problem with that.”

Messi and Ronaldo having dinner together one day?

Now that we’d *love* to see.

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