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Riquelme praises ´genius´ Messi

6 March 2012 15:36

Boca Juniors star Juan Roman Riquelme is in no doubt that compatriot Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.

The 33-year-old playmaker is fighting on two fronts for his beloved Boca in 2012, as they attempt to secure an unprecedented Clausura and Copa Libertadores double.

The Buenos Aires outfit are currently tied at the top of the domestic table with Tigre, and after opening their Copa campaign with a draw host Fluminense in a mouthwatering clash on Wednesday.

Speaking to Vorterix on Monday, Roman used typically colourful terms to describe what he believes is the incomparable talent of his countryman.

"He can be standing around thinking about his mother, then the ball comes to him and he'll score a goal from nothing just like he did against Switzerland," Riquelme said, referring to Messi's hat-trick in the Argentine side's last friendly.

"He is a genius and stands apart from any (best player) discussion. He is a goalscorer and he is quicker with the ball than without the ball, which is the most difficult thing."

Staying on the subject of Barcelona, who he represented for three years albeit including a lengthy loan spell with Villarreal, Riquelme believed that Messi's closest challenger could also be found at Camp Nou.

"If we have to talk about the rest, the best for me is Iniesta," he said.

"There is nobody like him, he is unique. He goes forward, he tracks back when he has to, he goes to the wings."

"If the game is deadlocked Guardiola sends him to the left side of attack and he creates all sorts of trouble for the right-back. He can do it from anywhere."

"When he was 15 or 16 years old he was already training with us. He was far better than the rest of his age."

Roman made a total of 42 appearances during his time at Camp Nou, scoring six times.

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