WHEN it comes to Lionel Messi, I agree with Arsene Wenger. There is no-one to compare to the brilliant Barcelona star’s knowledge of the game and footballing intelligence. Put simply, he stands out: he is the best in the world.
What amazes me about Messi is the way he is able to sprint from a standing start and change his angle and direction with such ease.
As we saw to such devastating effect against Wenger’s Arsenal this week, he can put the ball places you would not even think of. And all the time he is leading his opponents a merry dance, the ball is never more than a foot away from him. Another thing that sets him apart from the pretenders to the throne is his attitude: if he loses the ball he gets on with it and chases back.
Messi’s incredible balance is helped by his low centre of gravity and has only increased comparisons with the great Diego Maradona.
I played against the most iconic Argentina No10 of all time and his latest successor is one who deserves the comparison.
But he is not as good as Maradona yet. To be worthy of that accolade he will have to make his mark on a World Cup like you-know-who did in 1986.
Messi doesn’t have to win the trophy, but he must be the player of the tournament. I can’t wait to see how he gets on in South Africa this summer.