“I used to wash cars for such little money just so I had enough money to buy my football boots. My family was so poor that football for me was about survival. I told my mother from a young age, ‘Don’t worry, I will become a football player and get us out of this situation’. There were no rules when you play football on the street, no coaches to protect you. Because I was so advanced I used to play with the big kids and they used to try to kick me all over the street. I learned to be tough, and you can only learn that if you grow up in that environment. Football saved me.”
Mesut Özil seen leaving MNKY HSE restaurant in London following Arsenal embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on April 11, 2017. Mesut was dining with ex Arsenal player and now Crystal Palace player Mathieu Flamini.
Arsene Wenger (Coach, Arsenal) - “Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi!”
Diego Maradona (Ex Argentina) – “I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius and he can become an even better player.”
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – “Messi is a Joke, for me the Best Ever!”
Pelé (Ex Brazil) - “At the moment, Messi is the Best!”
Ferrer (ex-Barcelona, Chelsea): “I played with Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Laudrup and Stoichkov but Messi is the best I’ve seen”
Eidur Gudjohnsen (ex-Chelsea, Barcelona) – “Messi’s control is the best I have ever seen, it is truly breathtaking.”
Krankl (ex-Barcelona) - “Messi is the world’s number 1. Cruyff was my youth idol, him and Messi are the best players I saw in my life.”
Rafael van der Vaart (Ex Tottenham) - “Best football player I played against? I think Messi. He killed us.”
Ivan Helguera (ex-Real Madrid) - “For me, Messi is the best player in history”
Joan Laporta (Ex President, Barcelona) – “Messi is the best player in the world right now and the best ever. Together with Cruyff and Maradona, he’s the best we’ve seen at the club.”
Klaas jan Huntelaar (Schalke) - “Who’s better, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Messi. Ronaldo is good, but Messi is ten times better.”
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – “Messi won 3 Ballons d’Or and is competing for another one. He will be the best player in the world until he retires.”
Antonio Cassano (Ex AC Milan) – “Messi is the best player in the history of football, and that’s why I prefer Barça over Real Madrid.”
Arda Turan (Atléti, Ex Galatasaray,) - “Messi or Ronaldo best player in the world? In the world, I would say Ronaldo. Messi is from another planet.”
Sandro Rosell (Ex President, Barcelona) - “I think Barca will never have a player like Messi again. Messi’s greatness is present on and off the field of play.”
Roy Keane (Ex Manchester United) – “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.”
Bacary Sagna (Ex Arsenal) – “Best Player I played against? Messi, when he plays wide. He is the best in the world. Football seems easy when he plays it”
Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) – “Although he may not be human, it’s good that Messi still thinks he is. Messi plays some another sport.”
Fabio Capello (Ex Coach, Juventus) -“In my entire life I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the ‘heavy’ shirt of one of the world’s great clubs.”
Raúl Gonzáles (Ex Real Madrid) – “The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred percent 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!”
Gerard Pique (Barcelona) -“It doesn’t matter where Messi plays, if it’s cold or hot, he always proves that he’s the best.”
Marcello Lippi (Ex Coach, Italy) - “The best? Messi”
Antonio Cassano (Ex AC Milan) – “Ronaldinho is better than Cristiano Ronaldo, but neither are as good as Leo Messi.”
Fernando Gago (Ex Real Madrid) - “For me, the best in the world is Messi because of the way he plays, moves with the ball and changes matches, Messi has incredible ability and I love the way that he plays.”
Theirry Henry (Ex Arsenal, Barcelona) - “I have the possibility to watch Messi in training each morning, and because of what he demonstrates he is the best player in the world”
Arjen Robben (Ex Real Madrid) - “Messi is on another planet.”
Xavi Hernández (Barcelona) – “If he continues like this then I think Messi will be the best player in the history of football,”
Sir Alex Ferguson (Ex Coach, Manchester United) - “Critics have always questioned whether players like Pele from the 50s could play today. Lionel Messi could play in the 1950s and the present day, as could Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff because they are all great players. Lionel Messi without question fits into that category.”
Paulo Maldini (Ex AC Milan) - “When I see Lionel Messi playing, I think he should win it (Ballon d’or) every year. I have no doubt. He is an unbelievable player”
Pep Guardiola (Ex Coach, Barcelona) – “It has been an honour to be the coach of the best player (Messi) I have ever seen and probably the best I will see”
Ryan Giggs (Ex Manchester United) - “He is probably the best player of the last 20 years. He is such a slippery player. Because of his height and quickness he is difficult to pin down and his balance is exceptional.”
Manuel Pellegrini (Ex Coach, Villarreal) – ”I don’t know the parameters for the Ballon d’Or. I only know that Messi deserves to win every trophy”
Marco van Basten (Ex AC Milan) – “There is no doubt about it, Messi’s clearly the best player in the world. He’s a phenomenon who has already won everything, but is still hungry for more. His humbleness only makes him greater”
John Terry (Chelsea) - “For me, Lionel Messi is quite clearly the best player ever. It’s a pleasure to put 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.”
Vicente Del Bosque (Coach, Spain) - “Messi or Ronaldo? I prefer Messi because he is more of a street player.”
Zinedine Zidane (Ex France, Real Madrid) – “Messi makes the difference most of the time. In particular, he is always going forwards. He never passes the ball backwards or sideways. He has only one idea, to run towards the goal.So as a football fan, just enjoy the show.”
Filipe Scolari (Ex Coach, Portugal) – “The only bad thing about Ronaldo’s life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would be the best player in the world for five years in a row.”
Robin Dutt (former Coach Bayer Leverkusen) - “You won’t see anyone else like Messi. People said that Di Stefano, Maradona and Cruyff were the best when they were playing. And now it is the same for Messi. He is on the throne and it is down to him how long he stays there.”
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) – “Ronaldo is good but I am #TeamMessi all day everyday! Everyone is allowed 1 bad game in 300 right?”
Radamel Falcao (Athletico Madrid) – “Is Messi a real player or a Play Station character?”
Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona) – “It is very simple, Messi is the best in the world, and if you give him a little bit of space, he can do whatever he wants.”
Gheorghe Hagi (ex-Madrid -Barcelona) – “Messi or Cristiano? Cristiano Ronaldo is very good, but I prefer Messi. He’s incredible.”
Joey Barton (Queens Park Rangers) – “Messi is the best that’s played the game. Streets ahead of Maradona.”
Sid Lowe (Editor, Guardian) - “To compare Lionel Messi to anybody else is unfair on them”
Jorde Valdano (Ex Real Madrid) - “I believe that we have the first genius of the 21st century, Leo Messi.”
Michael Owen (Ex Liverpool) - “I can’t believe anyone can have played the game of football as well as Messi.”
Franz Beckenbauer (Ex Germany) - “Messi is a genius. He has everything. When I watch him, I see a player who is very, very, skilful, very clever and his left foot is like Diego Maradona’s.”
Manuel Almunia (Arsenal) - “Messi is very skilful and can do whatever he wants at any moment. He’s the best player in the world.”
Ronaldo (Brazil) – “There is no doubt that Messi is the best player in the world.”
Hristo Stoichkov (Ex Barcelona) – “Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol but today you need a machine gun to stop Messi.”
Romario (Ex Brazil) – “Messi has all the conditions to be the best.”
Oliver Kahn (Ex Germany) – “Messi is undoubtedly a gifted footballer, like Maradona and Pele, and he’s playing for the best club side in the world at the moment. He’s successful and he’s winning trophies, so it’s only logical that he’ll be voted the best player in the world.”
Thiago Silva (Brazil) - “Messi is a special player, certainly the best attacker I’ve played against to date, but I think comparing players from different generations is difficult. All I know is that he’s spectacular and already is definitely among the best ever.”
Michel Platini (President, UEFA) - “Messi is the great player of this generation, like there were great players in other generations.”
Alessandro Pato (Brazil) – “When Messi plays, he is the best.”
Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao) - “I’m not sure Messi is a human.”
Ganso (Brazil) - “Without doubt he is on another planet, because he does things others can’t.”
Luis Figo (Ex Portugal) – “For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure.”
Thiago Alacantara (Barcelona) - “We can give him the ball and we can stand back and watch him. People often say to me they saw Pele and Maradona play. In the future, I will be able to say I saw Messi play.”
Ruud Gullit (Ex Netherlands) - “He is already the best in the world. He is an exceptional talent. I still think Diego Maradona is the best player I have ever seen, but Messi is closing in fast. He’s a wonderful sight in full flight and we are lucky to have him around.”
Luis Figo (Ex Inter) - “Player I would like to sign for Internazionale? It’s easy, the strongest in Europe at the moment is Lionel Messi, so I would say him. Messi has amazing qualities, he is the best of all, number one. That is unquestiionable.”
Johan Cruyff (Ex Barcelona) – “For the world of football, Messi is a treasure because he is role model for children around the world.”
Maxi Rodriguez (Ex Liverpool) - “There is no doubt, you’re from another galaxy. Thanks Leo”
Demba Ba (Newcastle United) - “Is Messi a human being?????”
John Heitinga (Everton) - “Mejores jugador del Mundo Messi! Best player in the World!”
Gary Linekar (Ex England) - “Fella’s a genius! Best ever by a distance in my life time! Never really saw Pelé. Wait til he grows up! Souness, Gullit, Venables and now Rooney agree Messi is the best they have seen. He plays a game to which we are not familiar.”
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – “Is Messi the best player of all times?”
Mano Meneses (Ex Coach, Brazil) – “Messi? We will play against the best in the world.”
Johan Cruyff (Ex Barcelona) – “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.”
Rio Ferdinand (Ex Manchester United) - “Who were the best players I had ever played against? Raul,Messi, Zidane.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) : “Messi is more naturally gifted than Ronaldo. Messi does not need his right foot, though. 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!”
Rivaldo (Ex Brazil) – “Between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, I go with Messi. For me he is the best in the World.”
Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) - “I wear Number 10 Jersey for the US National Team in honor of the Greatest athlete i have ever seen, Messi.”
Miguel Angel Lotina (Ex Coach, Deportivo) – “Comparing Cristiano to Messi is an exercise of ignorance in football. Messi is Messi and others, footballers.”
Radomir Antic (Coach, Serbia) - “Messi is the Mozart of football.”
John Carlin (Journalist, Argentina) – “Messi is much more than being clever. He is a genius who reserves all his expressiveness for football.”
Mario Balotelli (Ex Manchester City) - “There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi. All the othersare behind me.”
Massimo Moratti (President, Inter Milan) - “Messi is the only player for whom I would go crazy.”
Antonio Lobo Antunes (Writer, Portugal) - “There are 3 or 4 important things in life: Books, Friends, Women……and Messi.”
Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) – “I am not crazy enough to compare myself with Messi because he is the best there ever was and the best there will ever be.”
Jürgen Klopp (Coach, Dortmund) - “Messi is the Best. There must be life out there somewhere, on some other planet. Because he is too good and we are just too bad for him.”
Ray Hudson (Commentator) - “They tell me that all men are equal in God’s eyes, this player (Messi) makes you seriously think about those words. ”
Gianluigi Buffon - ‘’Messi is an alien, that dedicates himself to playing with humans.’’
Tata Martino - “He sees passes that most people can only see whilst watching the game on TV, not ones that you can normally see on the pitch.”
Carles Puyol - ‘’This Barca will be remembered as Messi’s Barca. He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien and better than four years ago because he reads the game better. He’s unstoppable’’
Raúl - ‘’I was lucky enough to play with Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano… but Messi is different; he makes everything look so easy, so effortless – even the impossible.’’
Henk Ten Cate - ‘’It’s too bizarre for words to see how good and consistent Messi has played. Of course he scored all these great goals, but in the end he has always served the team interests. I can hardly imagine what’s coming for him next. At least he is so intelligent that he is also of tremendous value as a playmaker. You see in everything he does that he is not individualistic, and is happy when another score.’’
César Luis Menotti - ’What Messi does is terrifying. It’s indescribable magic. You can’t analyze it’’’
Gary Lineker - ‘’I never ever thought I would say that there was a better player than Maradona since he was in my time and I was in awe of him, but I honestly think for a number of reasons that Messi has surpassed him. He can do anything that Maradona did, and he does it more frequently and consistently.’’
Cerezo (president Atletico) - I’ve seen amazing players, but Messi is unique. Special. He’s a global player, he defines this sport’’
Alessandro Del Piero - ‘’Messi is the number one. He has talent, instinct, passion and magic. He is part of football heritage and we’re so lucky that he’s living in our time and that we can enjoy watching him.’’
Jamie Carragher - His achievements over the last decade have been so breathtaking that you could say he has outstripped those who have gone before — and it is quite possible we will never see them bettered
Graham Hunter -That’s how I like to think of it. It’s not Messi running toward a yawning goal net thinking “must score, must score.” It’s the entire history of football, the gods of football drawing him magnetically to the net with one refrain in their celestial minds: “This is the guy we invented football for … this is the man we want to dominate the history of goal scoring for all time.”
Juan Bernat - ‘’Messi is the best player in history. Anyone who understands football, even a little, thinks the same.’’
Mario Götze - ‘’He’s achieved so many great things and set the bar so high that practically nobody is ever going to reach it.’’
Javier Mascherano - ‘’I am too much ‘Messisist’ to compare his performances’’
Escribá (Elche coach) - ‘’ve never seen another player like Messi and I don’t think I ever will. It will be hard to imagine another player like him. I’ve seen Maradona and Cruyff play and Messi is better than both of them.’’
Angel di Maria - ‘’Having him as a rival is complicated. You see game after game that it is impossible to take the ball off him, impossible to stop him. There are no words to decribe his talent.’’
Diego Simeone - ‘’Messi alone is more dangerous than Real Madrid’s attacking trio Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale.’’
Franz Beckenbauer - ‘’We should not compare humans to God, but Messi is a godly player.’’
Paul Scholes - ‘’Let me tell you what it is like playing against Messi. You are up against a footballer who can take the ball either side of you, and you have no idea which side that might be from any hint about his body-shape. Unfortunately, there is also a third way that he might go past you – the worst of the lot – and that is through you, as Fernandinho and James Milner discovered to their cost.’’
Gary Lineker - ‘’Messi is indisputably the greatest player ever to don a pair of football boots. Don’t even attempt to argue the point.’’
Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson will rub
shoulders with a host of showbiz names after the final line-ups for
this year’s Soccer Aid charity football spectacular were announced.
Hollywood stars Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, Vicious) Matthew Morrison (Glee), Kasabian’s Sergio Pizzorno, McFly’s Danny Jones, Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward, legendary jockey Sir AP McCoy, Good Morning Britain’s Sean Fletcher and ex rugby star Thom Evans will complete the stellar celebrity line-up for the event on June 5.
Joining them are Italian legend and FIFA player of the year 2006 Fabio Cannovaro, World Cup winning Brazilian goalkeeper Dida, England and Sunderland striker Jermaine Defoe, ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy and former Newcastle and I’m a Celebrity star Kieron Dyer to complete the incredible line-up of footballing legends taking part in the big game.
The very special tenth-anniversary match will see two
star-studded squads go head to head live on ITV from Manchester United’s
legendary Old Trafford Stadium, all in aid of Unicef, the world’s
leading children’s organisation.
Damian and Danny will join Jose Mourinho’s England squad which also includes, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, pop star Olly Murs, TV and Heart FM presenter Mark Wright, pop star and presenter Marvin Humes, comedian Paddy McGuinness, Jonathan Wilkes, Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard, comedians Jack Whitehall and John Bishop with TV and Heart FM presenter Jamie Theakston in goal.
Iwan, Sir AP, Shayne, Thom, Sean and Sergio will play for the Rest of
the World team alongside movie star and Unicef UK Ambassador Michael Sheen, Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay, pop star and presenter Nicky Byrne, comedian Patrick Kielty, and Kiss FM and ITV’s Bang on the Money presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams.
Jose Mourinho and Sam Allardyce will manage England and will be joined by Assistant Manager Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams with Bradley Walsh returning as coach. Rest Of The World will be led by Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri with One Direction’s Niall Horan as his Assistant Manager.
Defoe, Murphy and Dyer will join the England legends including Liverpool icons Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler. David Seaman will play alongside his ex-Arsenal team-mate Sol Campbell.
Cannovaro and Dida will join Brazilian world cup winning legends Ronaldinho and Cafu alongside Manchester United favourites Jaap Stam and Dimitar Berbatov, Dutch midfield dynamo Edgar Davids and former Barcelona and Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto’o.
In the commentary box will be broadcasting icons Clive Tyldesley and Chris Kamara with former World Cup referee Howard Webb officiating in the middle. Viewers will also be treated to a performance from the incredible Katherine Jenkins.
tenth anniversary match promises to be bigger, better and bolder than
ever before, as the world’s biggest stars from sport, music, television
and film play in an action-packed game to raise money and vital support
for Unicef’s work for children in danger.
The money raised through
profits from ticket sales will add to the incredible £17 million that
has already been raised for Unicef to help provide children with
life-saving food, vaccines, and clean water, as well as protecting them
from violence, exploitation and abuse. 100% of all public donations will
go towards supporting the vital work of Unicef.
Donations to Soccer Aid will be doubled by the UK government.
The biennial live event will be hosted by Soccer Aid veteran Dermot O’Leary with TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher once again pitch side to report on all the action as it happens.
will be the sixth Soccer Aid event, with previous matches held at
Wembley in 2008 and at Old Trafford in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Aid’s Social Media campaign can be followed on Facebook at ‘Soccer Aid’
and @SoccerAid on Twitter and Instagram, also using the hashtag
Tickets now on sale for Soccer Aid 2016, call 0845 456 2016 or visit manutd.com/socceraid Booking fee applies. Calls charged at 0.75p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
it’s so funny when people support a team in each league (for ex: arsenal, barça, bvb, juventus, etc) like how do you keep up with them . who do you even root for in the champions league. like,,,, what’s your football club??
I gave up smoking last week. 9 days ago to be exact. Just put out my last cigarette and never bought another packet.
And here’s a list of things I’ve noticed especially immediately since quitting for good.
Sleep is easier. I’m falling asleep at a much more reasonable hour than I used to, and I’m going to bed now because I’m tired rather than because it’s so late and I have to be up early in the morning. I don’t come home from work on a late/early shift (finish at 10pm, start again at 7am) and try to count how many cigarettes I can fit in in the time I get home to when I really should be asleep.
Waking up is easier. No more mornings feeling like I could do with another six hours of sleep! I wake up now feeling refreshed rather than groggy and foggy headed. I’m more alert in the mornings and more energised. I don’t resent having to get up earlier because I don’t feel like I need ten hours of sleep every night, and my body is waking earlier naturally regardless.
Breathing is easier. Duh! But with a goal of running 10km in September under my belt, the cigarettes were not helping my case. I was stuck solidly at the 4.5km mark without being able to break past it. being away from home for six weeks without being able to run didn’t help, but the fitness I lost while I was away–that would have taken me another six months to build up again if I’d kept smoking–I’ve gained back in the last 10 days. And I haven’t been coughing either! Omg! It’s amazing how used to it you get, and it isn’t until you haven’t had coughing fits for a couple of days that you think oh my god, I’m breathing like a normal person again.
More energy. I’m running harder and further than I was (despite a healing hamstring injury), and I’m enjoying it. I’m playing netball again and loving the adrenaline. I love the feeling of breathlessness that comes from exertion rather than obstruction. I’m not tired at work and I’m not stagnant when I’m at home.
Improved mood. My life never did revolve around when I could get my next cigarette, but I won’t deny that a lot of my mood did. There’s no more irritation or anxiousness about not being able to light up at night (when I normally did–rarely did I smoke during the day). No more guilt or embarrassment if someone commented on my smoking, or for lighting up in someone else’s home. No more annoyance when someone commented that smoking kills (really, Sherlock? What a fascinating discovery, did you discover that all by yourself?).
I’ve saved money. Any Australian will tell you that smoking here is expensive. Between 20-50 bucks a regular packet expensive. Don’t get me started on cartons (the ones I smoked cost over 150 a carton). Mine cost me 30 a packet, and I’d go through 3-4 packs a week. Between 90-120 a week on cigarettes. That’s with a part time income while I’m studying and paying rent. I’ve already saved nearly 200 by giving up, in 10 days alone. I’m putting that money into a savings account so I can buy myself something nice when I graduate.
All of this is only after ten days of going without. The most surprising thing for me though, is how easy it was. The last few times I’ve tried to quit, I armed myself with the arsenal. The Ex-Smokers Guide To Removing Nicotine From Your Life Forever, Without Killing Anyone In The Process. Nicotine patches, gum, spray, prescription medication, behavioural changes, habit breakers, distractions and all things galore. The first time I tired (nicotine patches), I worked myself up so much I ended up with regular nose bleeds. Every time after that was a failure after another, using every assistance I could.
This time, aided by a viral illness the week before that made me put them down for a day or two, I just stopped. I stubbed out the last one the night before I was to come home after two weeks in coronary care, and I haven’t so much as had the urge to light another. I wish it was like this for everyone else out there trying to stop.
I’ve been a smoker for over ten years now. And I’m going to make damn sure that from here on I remain an ex-smoker.