When it comes to compliments, Lionel Messi has received most of them.
Majestic. World-class. Sublime. Out of this world… you get the idea.
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Ahead of Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League final against Juventus on Saturday (Follow live at 2:45 p.m. ET, here) the Italian outfit have been signing the praises of Messi.
The Argentine striker, 27, has scored 58 times in 56 games for Barca this season and in the buildup to the massive final on Saturday all the talk has been about how Juve can stop him.
Juventus’ legendary goalkeeper Gianliugi Buffon summed it up rather poetically.
“Messi is an extra-terrestrial who plays with us humans,” Buffon said. “So we hope that on June 6 he returns to earth and becomes a human too.”
Buffon went on to call Barca’s front three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar the “strongest attacking trio in the world” and although Juventus aim to stop them scoring, he admitted the more manageable task is to limit their impact on Saturday when both teams aim to secure their respective trebles.
Juventus defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Stephan Lichtsteiner were also full of praise for Barcelona’s attacking trio but insisted they can stop Messi, just like they limited the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo when they beat Real Madrid 3-2 over two legs in the UCL semifinal.
If anybody can stop the extra-terrestrial talents of Messi this season, it is Juventus’ experienced defense who have conceded just seven goals in 12 UCL games this season.