Thus Lionel Messi is crowned FIFA men’s world player of the year for the 6th time in his career, the most of any individual in football’s history. Here are 6 quotes from 6 football legends to celebrate this hextraordinary achievement. 

#1 'IF OPTION IS TO FOUL LIONEL MESSI, IT'S IMPORTANT TO DO IT OUTSIDE THE BOX AND AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE'

"

Quality + speed, but very left footed. Exactly the same behaviours as Ronaldinho Gaucho. Inside between lines or diagonals. Encourages team forward by ball driving. Amazing 1 vs 1.

If option is to foul Lionel Messi, it's important to do it outside the box and as early as possible."

—Jose Mourinho’s scouting report of Barcelona and an 18-year-old Lionel Messi

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#2 'THIS AWARD SAYS I’M THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, BUT I’M NOT EVEN THE BEST AT BARCELONA'

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This award says I’m the best player in the world, but I’m not even the best player at Barcelona!

The honour belongs to Lionel Messi, who reminds me of my idol Diego Maradona. We all knew Leo is destined for greatness since he started training with us. Someday I will be explaining that I was at the birth of a football legend: Leo Messi."

—Ronaldinho Gaucho upon receiving the 2005 Ballon d'Or

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#3 ‘I SPENT A LOT OF THE TIME JUST HOPING LIONEL MESSI WOULD TAKE UP POSITIONS AS FAR AWAY FROM ME AS POSSIBLE’

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First off, Lionel Messi never speaks on the pitch. In fact I don’t think I ever heard him say a word. Second, you won’t believe how strong he is for a little man.

I'm not ashamed to admit that in the games against Barcelona I spent a lot of the time just hoping Lionel Messi would take up positions as far away from me as possible."

—Paul Scholes recalls playing against Lionel Messi between 2008–2011

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#4 'THE STUDENT WHO WENT TO CLASS AND GOT BORED BECAUSE HE ALREADY KNEW EVERYTHING'

"

Lionel Messi was like the student who went to class and got bored because he already knew everything.

I was so fortunate to have him at Barcelona. I tried to involve him in the games as much as possible, I had a lot of generational stars in that team but without Leo, we wouldn't have achieved as much. Messi was definitely so much more than just the cherry on top of my cake."

—Pep Guardiola on coaching Lionel Messi as Barcelona manager

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#5 'IF YOU CONVINCE LIONEL MESSI HE CAN EVEN BE A BRILLIANT DEFENDER'

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If you convince Lionel Messi he can even be a brilliant defender.

He has physical and mental speed, he has everything. And if you convince him to run, what will the others do? They’ll run twice as much!”

—Xavi Hernandez ponders one untapped potential of Lionel Messi

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#6 'WE HAVEN’T HAD DINNER TOGETHER YET, BUT I HOPE IN THE FUTURE'

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Lionel Messi and I have shared the stage 15 years. I don't know if that's happened before—the same two guys on the same stage all the time.

Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven't had dinner together yet, but I hope in the future.

—Cristiano Ronaldo invites Lionel Messi to share a mains of goat

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