Last Update 23:3
Thursday, 19 September 2019

'Best ever' Messi constant in Barcelona evolution, says Villa

Reuters , Wednesday 3 Apr 2019
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Argentina v Venezuela - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - March 22, 2019 Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected (REUTERS)
Views: 1050
Views: 1050

Lionel Messi is the best player ever and Barcelona owe their success to their evolution to a more direct style from a possession-based passing game, the club’s former player David Villa has said.

Barcelona currently have an eight-point lead in La Liga over Atletico Madrid ahead of Saturday’s showdown between the sides and also face Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final this month.

Messi has been central to Barcelona’s success, scoring 42 goals across all competitions and proving the side’s talisman time and again.

He will turn 32 in June but Villa, who played alongside the Argentine forward at Barcelona for three years, does not see him slowing down.

“It is difficult to be surprised with Leo,” Villa, who now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, told Reuters in an interview.

“He is the best. He has always shown everybody in the world that he is the best... Every game that you can watch him is a pleasure.”

For those who have seen Messi during his 15-year career at Barcelona, there was no doubting his place in the pantheon of footballing greats, Villa said.

“Obviously (there were) Pele, Maradona, players like (Johan) Cruyff. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch them like I watched Messi every day, every game... But, for me, Messi is the best,” said Villa.

“He is good in everything that he does.”

Barcelona have adapted their style of play since the ‘tiki-taka’ days under Pep Guardiola, playing in a faster, more-direct fashion currently.

Villa, who won the Champions League with Barca in 2011, lauded the changes made in the pursuit of success.

“I am very happy with the things that we did when we played in Barcelona, with the style that we had, the trophies that we took,” said Villa, who left Barcelona for Atletico in 2013.

“Soccer is changing every day and you need to accommodate yourself and your team to the things that happen in the moment. I think that it is a different Barcelona but at the same time a great team as well.”

Despite the time difference, Villa said he will be keenly following Saturday’s contest between two of his former sides at the Nou Camp.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.