Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the history of soccer, has earned many admirers in his more than a decade-long career. Some of the game's finest of the past and the present have showered the Argentine with genuine praises and recognitions. Here are some of the compliments that the Barcelona star has received by the game's brightest stars.
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarThe Dutch man graced the Santiago Bernabeu in his career. But despite his connections to Real Madrid, he showered Messi with compliments when asked to compare Ronaldo and Messi.
"Who's better, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Messi. Ronaldo is good, but Messi is 10 times better."
Jose MourinhoDespite being an ex-Real Madrid coach, Mourinho didn't hide his admiration for Lionel Messi. The former mentor of Cristiano Ronaldo said the following.
"Messi, Maradona, and Pele are the three best players in the history."
Diego SimeoneThe Argentine is considered one of the best coaches in world football. When asked to compare Messi and Maradona, he said the following.
"Diego [Maradona] filled us with emotions. But between the cracks, without doubt, Messi is better than Maradona."/blockquote>
Ray HudsonThe commentator had some lyrical words on Messi during a game in which Messi did some magical actions."They tell me that all men are equal in God's eyes, this player makes you seriously think about those words."
Radamel FalcaoBack in 2012-2015 under manager Diego Simeone, the Columbian was one of the best players in the world. But that didn't stop him from telling what he thought about Lionel Messi."Is Messi a real player or a PlayStation character?"
Arsene WengerThe Frenchman is the only manager in English Premier League history to win a league championship without a defeat in a single game and is considered one of the best managers. Of Messi, he said the following."Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi."
PeleAnother contender for the throne of the best player ever, Brazilian superstar Pele had some warm words on the little magician."I like Messi a lot, he's a great player. Technically, we're practically at the same level."Later, in the Messi-Ronaldo debate, Pele was asked to choose his side."I like both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but I don't think there is a fair comparison here. Messi has been the best player around for the last 10 years and he is a guy who is much more present in the game overall. Cristiano reminds me a lot of the Brazilian Ronaldo. He's a great goalscorer and I had the pleasure to hand him the Ballon d'Or last year, but his passing is not a good as Messi and he is not as involved as Messi."
Wayne RooneyDespite being a close pal of Ronaldo, with whom he played six years in England, the Manchester United legend chose Messi as the special one."Messi is a joke. For me the best ever."
Gerard PiqueThe outspoken defender is considered one of the best in his generation and has followed Messi since their childhood days at La Masia."It feels good to be in the same generation as him. I believe he's the best player in the history of the sport."
Jorge ValdanoThe Argentine has his affiliation with Real Madrid being the former sporting director of the Los Blancos. He, however, believes, no one is equal to the talents of the little maestro."The best player in the world is Messi. The second best player in the world is an injured Messi — he has no equal."
Luis FigoLuis Figo may not be loved in Barcelona after switching his alliance from Barca to Real Madrid, but his love for Messi was not affected by this."For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it's like having an orgasm – it's an incredible pleasure."
John TerryThe man who is considered one of the best defenders ever, the words of Terry about Messi have some real value."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."
Tostao"Messi is better than Maradona; he is more complete, more consistent, more spectacular. He is reinventing the game – a mix of the real and the virtual."
Mario Gomez"I am not crazy enough to compare myself with Messi because he is the best there ever was and the best there will ever be."
Paolo MaldiniThe man who is arguably the best defender in the history of football had some lovely words on the Argentine."I think he reached and surpassed the level of Maradona. He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane."
AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani"Messi is the best player ever. And this is said by someone who has seen Maradona and Pele play."
Jurgen KloppThe current Liverpool manager is considered one of the best tacticians in the world. He said this about Messi."Messi is the best. There must be life out there somewhere, on some other planet. Because he is too good and we are just too bad for him."[Featured Image by David Ramos/Getty Images]