Messi's praises being sung by all and sundry but Pele begs to differ.
"Messi's like a PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake we make. He made the impossible possible. He has something exceptional. He has six or seven years in front of him, touchwood that nothing happens to him, and he can reach unbelievable levels. In the biggest games, exceptional players still make the difference. Messi is the best player in the world, and by a distance."
"It's frightening at 23 he is to be the third-highest goalscorer of a club that's a century old. We are lucky to have him. Put in the superlatives yourselves, I'm running out."
"Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol but today you need a machine gun to stop him."
"He is already the best in the world and it is also all about the work he does without the ball. He wants to tackle back and get the ball. He is an exceptional talent. I still think Diego Maradona is the best player I have ever seen - but Messi is closing in fast. He's a wonderful sight in full flight and we are lucky to have him around."
"I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Lionel 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."
"He is a spectacular player, there is nobody else like him. I should know because I have suffered so much in training."
"I'm not sure he's human."
"It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind."
Sir Alex Ferguson
"Well, I had Ronaldo here as a player and I think he is the best player in the world. He can play with both feet, he has fantastic skill, strength and bravery, and he's a greater header of the ball. But Messi is an absolutely fantastic player also. It's difficult to choose between the two, it's the toss of a coin."
"But for some time I have thought that Diego could never be surpassed, and nor could Pele, but no longer. I would now say that Lionel Messi will go down in history as the No. 1 player of all time, the best that there ever was.
"Nobody did what Pele did. Being champion of the world at 17-years-old, won three World Cups, scored more than 1,208 goals, only him. Pele is the best. You can mention players that played for 10 years, for example [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Michel] Platini, [Eric] Cantona, Bobby Charlton, George Best, then come [Diego] Maradona, Zico. Those players used to play a long time. Now the players they play one year, two years, then disappear."
Well I guess he's right but talking about yourself in the third person is not a good sign....