17 of the best quotes on Messi: ‘You need a machine gun to stop him’

Lionel Messi will go down in history as one of the greatest ever footballers the world has ever seen – and it’s impossible to find the words to do his brilliance justice.

During his legendary Barcelona career, the Argentina superstar scored over double the number of goals of anyone else to have played for Barca in the history of the club. He was, and still is, nothing short of a phenomenon, capping off his astonishing career with a fairytale World Cup triumph.

Rather than eulogise about Messi’s brilliance ourselves, we’ve collected some of the best tributes to the forward from some of the biggest figures in the game. Nothing can do him justice, but there’s even glowing praise from Roy Keane in there, so that’s something…

Luis Figo

“For me to watch Messi is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure.”

Paolo Maldini

“I think he reached and surpassed the level of Maradona. He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane.”

Diego Maradona

“I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“Messi does not need his right foot. He only uses the left and he’s still the best in the world. Imagine if he also used his right foot, then we would have serious problems.”

Hristo Stoichkov

“Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol. Today you need a machine gun to stop Messi.”

Javier Mascherano

“Although he may not be human, it’s good that Messi still thinks he is.”


“The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred per cent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible.”

Roy Keane

“I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good, but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly, but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them.”

Pep Guardiola

“Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him, just watch him.”

READ: Comparing Lionel Messi’s stats under each of his 10 club managers

John Terry

“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.”

Franck Ribery

“Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary.”

Johan Cruyff

“Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league.”

Carles Puyol

“He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien.”

Luis Enrique

“Messi is the best in the world without any doubt and for me [in] the history of football.”

Arda Turan

“I have never seen anything like Leo Messi. He is a miracle from God!”

Thierry Henry

“What Leo does is so incredible that I have to be careful not to stand still watching him make his moves.”

Josep Maria Bartomeu

“Life with Leo is prettier, of another colour.”

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