Lionel Messi is a one-off and football will not see a player like the Barcelona and Argentina star again, says Erik Lamela.
Messi struck a hat-trick against PSV to get Barca’s Champions League campaign off to a flying start this week, while he has hit four goals in four LaLiga games.
Even Messi could not inspire Argentina to success at the World Cup, though, as Jorge Sampaoli’s side crashed out at the round of 16 stage to eventual winners France.
International disappointment has plagued Messi’s career, with the 31-year-old on the losing side in three Copa America finals, as well as at the 2014 World Cup.
Messi missed Argentina’s matches against Guatemala and Colombia in the September international break but team-mate Lamela is in no doubt as to the Barca captain’s quality.
“Leo is obviously a very important player for us, for all the things he can give as a player and a team-mate,” Lamela told Omnisport at the launch of EA Sports’ FIFA19.
“Having him is very important for the group. We all know he is the best inside the pitch and he is always a plus to win a game.
“What I saw when I played and trained with him, he is by far the best player I have ever seen since I play football.
“Game after game, people can see the things he does, how easy is for him to score goals, assist, and make what he wants inside the pitch. Sincerely, there won’t be anyone like him.”
Although his time at Tottenham has been severely disrupted by injury, Lamela is now setting in under fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino.
“First year I was here, he helped me because my English wasn’t really good,” Lamela said of his compatriot.
“It was important for me to have a manager speaking Spanish, and other South American players, because there are many young players at the team who speak Spanish.
“But in the end, my relationship with him is like the one he has with other team-mates, it is the same for all of us.”