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Cantona reveals Messi admiration

8 March 2012 20:49

Former France international Eric Cantona has added his voice to the stream of praise for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

Cantona's comments came after Messi scored a record five goals in Barcelona's 7-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

"When you watch him as if he has this child inside him and he is making some childhood dream come true," Cantona said.

"He doesn't see himself as a star."

"This is a great player not only for today but for tomorrow."

"He is a player who always keeps his childish spontaneity and naivety."

"You can see that."

"You see it in his eyes."

Messi is the first ever player to score five goals in a Champions League match, though 10 players netted five times in a game during the European Cup era.

Cantona made it clear his respect for Messi is even bigger due to the Argentine's ability to always stand out at Barcelona.

"I have always thought that Barca's play was incredible but Messi is exceptional," Cantona said.

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