Lionel Messi quotes: What have football’s biggest names said about him? | OneFootball

Lionel Messi quotes: What have football’s biggest names said about him?

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Lionel Messi turns 35 on June 24, 2022, and this sadly means that we’re another birthday closer to the day football fans are all dreading.

Football after Messi almost doesn’t bear thinking about but the great man will inevitably hang up his boots at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Hopefully he goes on to play well into his late-30s – or better still, early 40s – but the day of Messi’s retirement is closer than many of us want to believe.

As Messi celebrates his 35th birthday, we’ve decided to collate the greatest quotes about the Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina forward from the biggest names in football.

It’s hard to believe there’s been another footballer in history who has received such widespread admiration from so many icons of past and present.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what football’s greatest have said about the player many believe is the GOAT.

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.”


“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.”​

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.”

Alan Shearer

“Messi the best ever. Goals. Skill. Work rate. Attitude. An artist.”

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.”

Steven Gerrard

“Lionel Messi for me. I’m someone who would never say a derogatory thing about Ronaldo because he’s another phenomena. They’re the two in our era. The numbers — I’m not sure who’s going to do that again.”

Jurgen Klopp

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

Cesc Fabregas

“You can expect anything from Leo. He is the best player in history, we have never seen anyone like him.”

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.”

Javier Mascherano

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

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.”


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

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.”

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.”

Arjen Robben

“He is the best player in the world. For me he is from another planet, he is the best, very different.”

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.”

Ryan Giggs

“Messi is a genius, he’s a once in a lifetime player. It’s as simple as that.”

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.”

Michael Owen

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

Neymar (After Argentina beat Brazil in 2021 Copa America final)

“When I lost, I went to give a hug to the biggest and best in history that I saw playing.”

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.”

Gianluigi Buffon (on meeting Messi in 2013)

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

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.”

Sergio Ramos

“Messi is one of the best in the world, if not the best.”


“I was lucky enough to play with Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano… but Messi is different. He makes everything look so easy, so effortless – even the impossible. When you watch him play, it’s almost as though you are watching him in the street playing with his mates.”

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.”

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.”

Franck Ribery

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

Fernando Torres

“Messi is the best. I have not seen or will ever see a player like Lionel Messi. He dominates all aspects of the game. He is the absolute best in 90 per cent of the categories.”

David Beckham

“[Messi] is alone in his class as a player, it is impossible that there is another like him.”

Radamel Falcao

“Is Messi a real player or a PlayStation character?”

Arda Turan

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

Sergio Aguero

“We are talking about the best ever, and he will remain so.”

Kylian Mbappe

“It’s easy to play with Lionel Messi. He’s the best player in the world.”

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.”

QUIZ: Can you get 20/20 on our Ultimate Lionel Messi quiz?

1 of 20

Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

Buenos Aires Rosario Mendoza Cordoba

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