Barcelona left back Jordi Alba has paid homage to the talent of his teammate Lionel Messi, claiming that finding another player comparable to the legendary Argentine will prove very difficult.
Messi has enjoyed an illustrious career with both club and country, breaking countless records and earning endless accolades since bursting on to the scene as a 17-year-old at Barcelona.
The 30-year-old has firmly written himself in the record books as one of the greatest to play the game, with five Ballons d’Or, four Champions League winner’s medals and eight La Liga titles to his vast and growing collection.
Messi is enjoying a typically fine season this year, contributing to an astounding 51 Barcelona goals (37 goals; 14 assists) in just 43 appearances, suggesting that there is still more to come from the Argentinian, despite not having youth on his side anymore.
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi:— bet365 (@bet365) March 23, 2018
Games - 47
Goals - 38
🗣 "Back to his best."
🇪🇬 Mohamed Salah:
Games - 44
Goals - 38
🗣 "Form of his life."
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo:
Games - 40
Goals - 43
🗣 "Past his best."
With both Alba and Messi on international duty with Spain and Argentina respectively, the defender has conceded that he misses the attacker’s presence and their on-field relationship whilst playing for their countries.
Reported by Goal, Alba said: "Finding another Leo is very complicated. There are great players here with whom I also understand perfectly, but above all we will have to wait and see how the coach wants to play."
Alba was not finished there, using the platform to acknowledge another one of his teammates also holding legend status, Andres Iniesta.
Iniesta is now 33 years old and there are rumours that he will be swapping the Nou Camp for China come the end of the season, but there is still no denying the talent of the Spaniard, demonstrated in a trademark assist to Rodrigo for the opener in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Germany on Friday.
"He is a special player and the only one of his kind at Barcelona," Alba continued.
"I have enjoyed playing with him since 2012 and he is a vital player for us, both in the national team and at Barcelona.
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"He is having a magnificent season and we are better on the pitch with him. We must make sure he is healthy as he is vital to helping us win titles here and with Barcelona."