Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has said that Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer of all time, given his very special abilities on the playing field. The Argentine has been consistent with his performances for Barcelona for more than a decade and he recently starred against Celta Vigo by netting his 34th hat-trick in the Spanish La Liga.
In an interview covered by Goal.com, Gundogan was asked about the contenders for the Ballon d’Or and he was quite clear that Messi deserves the prestigious accolade, he told: “Lionel Messi [is the best player in the world]. In my opinion, he has very special abilities. He has talent and he always manages to show it on the pitch.
“He always has the instinct to make the right decision. He uses his speed well against the opponents he plays. He has a strong finish. All in all, no one else has as much quality as Lionel Messi. He is the star player of my generation and the greatest footballer of all time. I hope we get to watch him play for a few more years.”
Messi has endured a mixed beginning to the current campaign due to a couple of injury setbacks but he has nonetheless contributed nine goals from 11 appearances. He recently bagged a treble in the 4-1 league triumph over Celta Vigo and that has ensured that the Blaugrana remain at the top of the league standings ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.
Meanwhile, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has returned to the national setup with Argentina after serving a three-month international ban for the derogatory comments made on the referee after the country’s Copa America semi-final defeat to Brazil over the summer. Argentina are scheduled to face Brazil and Uruguay in friendlies in Saudi Arabia and Israel respectively during the international break.