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Soccer News of Saturday, 9 May 2015


Messi the greatest club player of all time - Carragher

Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher believes that Lionel Messi has proven himself the best club player of all time.

The Argentine is the talk of the football world once again, after a stunning two-goal salvo in Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Numerous ex-players were quick to argue that the four-time Ballon d'Or winner's stunning performance offered conclusive proof that the diminutive No.10 deserves to be recognised as the finest talent the game has ever seen.

Carragher feels that an argument could still be made that Messi needs to lift the World Cup to be ranked No.1 but the former England international is in no doubt that the 27-year-old has surpassed all others at club level.

"His achievements over the last decade have been so breathtaking that you could say he has outstripped those who have gone before — and it is quite possible we will never see them bettered," he wrote in The Daily Mail

"The men with whom we are comparing him are gods — Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer and Alfredo di Stefano. Pele doesn’t enter the debate. He won 10 league titles and two Copa Libertadores with Santos but I feel European competition has always been more competitive.

"It gets said that the standards in La Liga are not taxing for him and Cristiano Ronaldo but look at Messi’s record in the Champions League: he now has an astonishing 77 goals — two of which defined finals against Manchester United in Rome (2009) and at Wembley (2011) — in just 97 games. His consistency is remarkable.

"He has taken Barcelona to heights they had never known. During his time, they have turned one European Cup into four with the promise of a fifth in Berlin next month. They have also dominated Spanish football and a sixth league title in 10 years is within their grasp.

"I understand the game is now not as physical as it used to be in the days of Maradona and Cruyff but they never had to endure the scrutiny and exposure that comes with today’s game, the constant analysis of performances and the pressure to produce results, which Messi has to deal with ...

"The job of facing the 27-year-old, who is now scoring 50 or 60 goals a season from his free role, however, is now the most difficult in football, as the unfortunate Jerome Boateng found out to his cost on Wednesday.

"Quite simply, Messi has been the greatest player in the best club team we have ever seen."

Messi's double against Bayern saw him reclaim the all-time Champions League goalscoring record from Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo.