Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives has claimed Lionel Messi is the best player in the history of the game.
Vives, who spoke on behalf of Barcelona’s board of directors, made the claim in response to rival player Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments following his recent fifth Ballon d’Or win.
"Respect to the Ballon d'Or and to Cristiano Ronaldo," Vives said at a press conference,
"We have always considered him a great player and a great competitor.
"But here at the Camp Nou, we can see the best player in history every 15 days, which is Messi."
He also explained other decisions that were made at the club's latest meeting.
Here's an interesting yet pointless stat...— HLTCO (@HLTCO) October 10, 2017
Lionel Messi is the only player to have scored a competitive goal for Argentina in 11 months.
Regarding Javier Mascherano’s decision to leave the club in January, Vives only had positive comments to add about the Argentinian defender.
"Mascherano has earned respect," he indicated.
"As the coach said, after the January window, the club should come out stronger and not weaker.
"The general interest of the club is above the individual wishes of any of us, including the player.
"The player is listened to and taken into account."
Vives also commented on the Champions League Round of 16 draw, in which the Catalan club were drawn against English side Chelsea.
"We had a 43% chance of being drawn against them and it happened," he noted.
"It motivates us, they are a great rival.
"To win the Champions League, you have to beat big teams."