Diego is Diego and for me he is the greatest player of all time. Even after a million years I am not even going to be close to Maradona. I have no intention of comparing myself with Maradona - I want to make my own history for something I have achieved.
[Becoming a father] has changed everything. He [Thiago] comes first then everything else. It has also changed the way I see a match. Before if I lost or did something wrong I didn't talk to anyone for three or four days, until it passed. Now, I come home after a game, I see my son and everything is alright.
To me, Messi is the greatest player in the world right now. He has got a fantastic vision of the game, and what he can do technically - it's just crazy. The things he can do with the ball - and at pace and top speed - is just amazing. What decides it for me is not his many goals, although his goal account is impressive, but the thing is that he can do so much for his team. What counts is the total amount of his many, many qualities. He is just the greatest.
Leo is from another planet. What makes him the best is that other great players have had ups and downs, like Maradona. He wasn’t half of what Leo is at Barça. Messi has had so many good years in his career that he deserves to be considered the best ever.
It’s something for me that I can tell my kids that I’ve played against Messi when we watch him on television. For me he’s got everything. He is magical to watch. When I finish and look back, and he will still be going strong, I will be able to say to myself I tested myself against the best. And quite clearly, for me, he is the best ever. He’s a great individual player but a great person as well and a credit to football.
He's been by far and away the best footballer in the world for the last five or six years. He's the best player of all time and if he stays fit he will continue for the next five or six years. The things he does right now are out of this world. Of course, he doesn't play by himself, but he is simply incredible. He always finds a way and is always a yard quicker than everyone else. If you have a player like that on your side, you needn't fear anyone.
Having him as a rival is complicated. You see game after game that it is impossible to take the ball off him, impossible to stop him. There are no words to decribe his talent. For me, and as others have said, he is from another planet.
I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius and he can become an even better player. His potential is limitless and I think he’s got everything it takes to become Argentina’s greatest player.
I see Maradona every time he grabs the ball and accelerates. But he is shy, like a little brother who likes to hang out with PlayStation rather than talk. We must protect him. I'd personally put him in a drawer of my bedside table.
The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred percent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible.
Leo is a virtuoso. He does things with the ball that just seem impossible. He's got great ability. His control of the ball when he is running at high speed is excellent. He has a superb shot. There is precision in his passing. To summarise... he's got everything. He has every single attribute you would want to find in a player.
I think now he’s probably done more than most players. But he is in the same class as Alfredo de Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Pelé. When he finishes and he retires, he will automatically become one of them. A player that people will talk about forever, while the game of football is as good and as popular as it is. He is a sensational player.
Big congratulations to Messi, the magician, the artist, the genius. What more words can I use to describe this guy? Twenty-seven years old and broken the Champions League record from Raúl. Possibly one of the hardest players I’ve played against in my time in the game. The left foot. It’s beautiful. At the moment this guy’s taking liberties with everyone.
The Messi of the early years was a phenomenon, but he always wanted to finish off the move. Now he goes past one, two or three players and is happy to give an assist to a team-mate - it makes him more dangerous and more difficult to stop than ever before.
He's a problem solver, a game changer, the greatest player to have played the game. I am more than 60 years old now, and I don't believe that I've seen, or that I'm likely to see, anyone better in my lifetime. The world's best when I was growing up was Pele and he would have been a great player now, too, but Messi surpasses him. He's also way out ahead of Diego Maradona - it's not even close anymore.
I never ever thought I would say that there was a better player than Maradona since he was in my time and I was in awe of him, but I honestly think for a number of reasons that Messi has surpassed him. He can do anything that Maradona did, and he does it more frequently and consistently.
Barcelona have a great team with one special player, Messi. He is able to unlock a game from out of nowhere. Cristiano Ronaldo has been putting in spectacular performances, but there really is no comparison with Messi. Messi is on another level than all the other players. He is the undisputed best. No player has the ability to do what he does.
He can hurt you 40 metres away from goal, not because he takes the ball and starts dribbling past opponents, but because on top of that he can also create the definitive goal chance. The god of football started playing, he is unstoppable when he starts playing. If you think otherwise, ask Jerome Boateng or all those fantastic players that face him.
I heard an interview with Sir Alex Ferguson where he revealed his greatest players of all time. He said Messi was in a category of his own. I am a big fan of Diego Maradona but Messi is a phenomenon. His performances at club level are unbelievable. You can play a season or two like that, but not all these years. He set the bar very high from the start.
I have never seen a player like him, with so much quality and audacity at his age, in a so important a stadium and with that shirt. He has everything. He has an extraordinary future - I'd love to bring him to Juve!
I think he is certainly one of the best in the world and people are right to make comparisons with Diego Maradona. It’s amazing when you think he is still only 22-years-old. He’s just a fantastic player.
Put in the superlatives yourselves, I'm running out. It's already been a while now that he has been outstanding. That he's capable of doing everything that he does at his age is something impressive, that doesn't make any sense.
Messi has once again shown that he is a wonderful player and that he is, without doubt, the leader of Barcelona. He is the best player in the world and the best in the history of football. Along with Cruyff and Maradona, he is the best player we have seen at Barça.
Tonight, I saw Diego Maradona, but at more revs per minute. There are no words left to describe him – he is interplanetary. We could have beaten Barcelona but we could never have beaten Leo Messi. If we had scored four, he would have scored 12.
Messi is like an Oliver Twist character, picking a pocket or two, the Artful Dodger, where he’s just sort of slipping around, looking like a little lad in the playground. He’s not really taking it seriously, and he makes you smile every time he gets the ball. And when he does some of these things, I have to laugh because it’s not possible what he does. It’s wonderful to watch. It’s just wonderful to see. You’ve got to pinch yourself sometimes, it’s really amazing what he does.
Look at Lionel Messi – he gets kicked every week. Everybody wants to kick Messi because it is the only way to stop him, but all he ever does is sort of smile, get up and get on with it, and then does it again.
With respect to Leo, I don’t know what can I say. Nothing surprises me with him. He controls the game well, passes the ball well, he is a good finisher, he can press and recover the ball. He is a footballer that can do everything. He sees passes that most people can only see whilst watching the game on TV or in the stands, not ones that you can normally see on the field.
I've never seen a better player than Messi. He's so good that he can even get around the three players you send after him and still notice the two teammates he has in space. It'll be hard to ever see another player like him.
I feel sad when the best player in the world is chosen, and I see, for example, that the Portuguese coach -- my friend Fernando Santos -- does not place Messi among the top three. It's absurd. As a Portuguese man, I will say that Ronaldo is the best in the world. Messi is from another planet.
I applaud what he does and I hope the crowd enjoyed and will remember what he does. We are fortunate to be around while the best is playing. It is a pleasure to have him with us. Today was a real show. He is the best there is and there has been.
You can forget the Little Donkey, the Rabbit, the Clown and all the other great pretenders, it's the Flea with the fast feet and fabulous control who gets closest to el Diego. He may not have the same the strutting confidence or the big mouth - in fact, he makes whispering Ted Lowe sound like a town crier - but there's definitely something about Messi.
I have played against Platini, Maradona, Cruyff and played with George Best — a lot of big names, but none of them has been able to do what Messi does. Two years ago I said that the best player I played against was Maradona and the best player I have played with was Bestie. But I can now say I have never seen a player as good as Messi. He’s in a league of his own.
At the Camp Nou Messi scored two brilliant goals, made a third and at times yawned his way around champion opponents like a man tactfully avoiding a gaggle of overheated toddlers in a high street coffee shop. Often he took the ball and shimmied past two or three men, operating within a kind of fermata, events slowed and paused around him, and providing a reminder that he remains one of the great dribblers, master of the flip-flap, the surge, the amphetamine-crazed-millipede shift of feet.