Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Guadalajara
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AS Trencin
Hull City
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mlada Boleslav
Lyon
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Aberdeen
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
Hajduk Split
4
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
AIK Solna
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Neftchi Baku PFC
Chikhura Sachkhere
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
Metalurg
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Liberec
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ruch Chorzow
Esbjerg FB
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Moscow
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Elfsborg
FH Hafnarfjordur
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Karabükspor
Rosenborg
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mlada Boleslav
Lyon
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AS Trencin
Hull City
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Brommapojkarna
Torino
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
St. Pölten
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
CFR Cluj-Napoca
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
IFK Goteborg
Rio Ave
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Molde
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
BSC Young Boys
Ermis Aradippou
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
RNK Split
FC Chornomorets Odessa
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
S.V. Zulte Waregem
Shakhter Soligorsk
2
5
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Petrolul Ploiesti
Viktoria Plzen
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Víkingur Gøta
Rijeka
1
5
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mainz
Asteras Tripolis
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Diosgyor VTK
Kuban Krasnodar
1
5
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Lech Poznan
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Atromitos
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Aberdeen
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Club Brugge
Brøndby
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
St Johnstone
FC Spartak Trnava
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
SV Grödig Amateure
Zimbru Chisinau
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Guadalajara
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Londrina
Santos FC
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Paysandu SC
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Unión Comercio
Sport Huancayo
3
0
FT
Game Details
Melgar
San Martin
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
León de Huánuco
4
0
FT
Game Details
Sky Blue FC
Western New York Flash
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
Mar 8, 2012

Messi hailed as 'greatest ever'

A host of top players and pundits have hailed Barcelona star Lionel Messi as the greatest player of all-time after he became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League game in the 7-1 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen.

• Guardiola gushes over Messi

Messi, 24, has scored 288 goals in 311 games for Barcelona and the two-time FIFA Ballon D'Or winner bagged his eighth hat-trick of the season.

The Argentinian is now joint in sixth place with Alfredo Di Stefano on the list of the European Cup/Champions League's all-time top scorers and many have claimed that he is now above the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona in the 'world's greatest player' debate.

Indeed, the tributes came pouring in after the game, with team-mate Cesc Fabregas saying: "You can expect anything from Leo. He is the best player in history, we have never seen anyone like him. He didn't play at the weekend and he wanted to do well. He enjoys being on the pitch and we are happy to have him.''

"Messi is a joke. For me the best ever," wrote Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney on Twitter.

Manager Pep Guardiola gushed over his talisman after the game and claimed he could get even better.

"I'm lucky to coach and manage this player," the Barca boss said. "He is the best. There's no-one else. He is a unique player because of his innate talent and also for his competitiveness. We will not see another player like Messi. It's not easy to score five goals, and one day he will score six."

Asked to compare Messi to legends like Johan Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona and Pele, Guardiola said: "The throne is his. Only he will decide when to leave it."

While Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong, on loan at Wolves, saw the funny side of the striker's feat, as he tweeted: " Messi has scored more goals in 1 game than me in my whole professional life!hahahahahahaha! #not human."

Messi, though, was quick to play down his own role to concentrate on the bigger picture.

He said: ''The most important thing tonight is that all these goals we scored take us one step closer to winning the Champions League, which is our objective. We went out there wanting to ensure qualification for the quarter-finals and we achieved that.

''I have always said that it's fantastic when things come off for you and you play well, but only if you meet your aims for the match. That's what happened against Leverkusen. The team played very, very well, the performance had some beautiful moments and we scored lots of goals.''

The five goals, plus the recent hat-trick for Argentina against Switzerland, means Messi has scored 14 goals in his last five games for club and country.

''It's all about enjoying the moment - from how it went with Argentina the other week to how it's going right now for my club,'' he added on UEFA's website.

''The sweetest part of it, for me, is that the team continues its run of form at the moment, winning games in style; that's the way to go as far as we can in the Champions League.

''As for the draws for the next rounds, I don't care which opponents we end up facing or when. Any club which has reached this stage is only here because it has done its work very well, and whoever we draw are going to be tough opposition.''

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.