Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has played against some of the greatest footballers of all time, including Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the former England international has named Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as the best player he has played against during his illustrious career.
Lampard made a guest appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show - alongside Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville - and when asked by presenter Ed Chamberlain to name his best-ever opponent, the midfielder responded instantly by saying: “Messi”.
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“Messi, for his individual ability,” Lampard elaborated, “we played him when he was at the top and you can’t get near him when he’s at his best.
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“Special player. For me, he’s the best of all time. Certainly the best I’ve played against.”
Messi has never scored against Chelsea
Messi has played against Lampard and Chelsea on several occasions, with the most notable meeting coming in April 2012 when he missed a penalty at the Camp Nou.
It would prove to be a decisive miss, too, as 10-man Chelsea advanced to the Champions League final at their opponents’ expense - Fernando Torres sealing the result with his famous 90th-minute equaliser, prompting wild celebrations from Lampard and co. and this famous piece of commentary from Neville.
Messi has never managed to score against Chelsea, dating back to February 2006 when he made his first appearance against the Blues.
But despite his surprising lack of success in front of goal when he’s gone head-to-head with Chelsea in the past, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner still did enough during those matches against the west London outfit to convince Lampard that he’s the best footballer of all time.
Chelsea fans: has Lionel Messi impressed you when he’s faced your team - or do you reckon he’s always flopped against the Blues? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!