Messi Is Already The Best, Says Laporta

By Dialogo
April 08, 2009

Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi is already the best player in the world, according to his club president Joan Laporta. Speaking to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, Laporta claimed his Barcelona star will win the Ballon d'Or as soon as his team wins something. "It depends on the results of the team," he said. "But Messi is definitely already the best player in the world because he's a genius. "Players like him only come around once every 30 years." Although Messi has been dazzling Spanish audiences and tormenting La Liga defences for several years, he has yet to be named the best player on the planet. The consensus opinion is that for a player to win such an award, his team must also be successful. Last year Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo finished top in both the World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or polls and the year before it was AC Milan's Kaka -- in both cases their team had won the Champions League while the year before that it was Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro who scooped the top awards. It is not only Messi who has supposedly been prejudiced by his team's failure to win things: in Italy many think Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic would win if his team did better in Europe. Ibrahimovic is a reported transfer target for Barcelona this summer and Laporta did nothing to dispell those rumours. "I'm not going to talk about that out of respect for (Inter president Massimo) Moratti," he said.