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Lionel Messi branded 'average' by pundit in bizarre rant

Mirror logo Mirror 5 days ago Gareth Bicknell
a man wearing a football uniform: Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 13, 2019. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images © AFP/Getty Images Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 13, 2019. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has been branded 'average' by a pundit in a bizarre rant.

Barcelona superstar Messi , considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, has helped spearhead his club's domination of European football over a 14-year career with the Catalans.

The 31-year-old scored twice in Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing of Lyon in the Champions League last 16 this week. He has 409 goals in 433 Barcelona appearances, and has helped his club win four Champions League titles as well as every domestic honour possible.

But he has been accused of being 'average' by Canadian pundit Sid Seixeiro, who claimed Messi had been propped up in those all-conquering Barcelona teams by Spanish stars Xavi , Andres Iniesta and David Villa .

Bizarrely, he refers to the fact that his Spanish club-mates won two European Championships and a World Cup without Messi - who is, of course, Argentinian.

a group of young men playing a game of football: Lionel Messi scores a penalty against Lyon © AFP/Getty Images Lionel Messi scores a penalty against Lyon

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Speaking on Sportsnet ’s Tim and Sid show, Seixeiro said: "Domestically, Messi has won everything there is to win at Barcelona. And he started at Barcelona at what, 13? He's won everything there is to win."

In quotes reported on Joe , he then added: "Here's how you know what Messi's about. When they were winning the best things at Barcelona, it was Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa. That was a team.

"When they would break from 2008 on and go their separate ways for major tournaments, Xavi, Iniesta and David Villa, and all those Spanish guys from Barça, were winning tournaments. Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012.

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Seixeiro: 'Success down to Xavi, Iniesta and Villa'

"Messi, the second he steps on a field without that core, is average. And you have seen it in Copa Americas, seen it at World Cups. He's now gone 675 straight minutes without scoring a World Cup goal, because Xavi's not there, because Iniesta's not there, because David Villa's not there."

Then, in comparing Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo , his regular rival for the Ballon D'Or, Seixeiro had a pop at two former Manchester United midfielders.

Seixeiro said: "The best players I've ever seen in my life can play with anybody.

Cristiano Ronaldo standing in front of a crowd: Seixeiro said Cristiano Ronaldo didn't need Xavi or Iniesta © SIPA USA/PA Images Seixeiro said Cristiano Ronaldo didn't need Xavi or Iniesta

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"Cristiano Ronaldo can play with anybo- Michael Carrick sucks. Darren Fletcher sucks."

United fans would no doubt take issue with the pundit's assessment of Carrick and Fletcher .

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And when questioned on why he was suddenly taking aim at the Manchester United midfield duo, Seixeiro said: "I'm making a point. Ronaldo didn't have Xavi. Ronaldo didn't have Iniesta."

Messi and his Barcelona team-mates will discover their Champions League quarter-final opponents in Friday's draw from midday.

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