Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has labelled Lionel Messi as his greatest ever opponent after the Barcelona superstar’s brilliance helped his side crush Bayern Munich 3-0, Spanish paper Diario Sport report.
The game on Wednesday was petering out for a 0-0 draw until the Argentine international forward delivered a devastating last 13 minutes, recording two marvellous goals and one assist.
His contributions have prompted widespread praise from football’s leading figures around the world, and speaking at Chelsea’s pre-match press conference Mourinho also spoke of his genius.
"Messi has been the most dangerous rival I have ever had to face - and many times, too. Each time I would spend hours and hours thinking of the best way to stop him collectively, because it is impossible to man-mark him."
Messi has faced a Mourinho side on a number of occasions, especially during the Portuguese coach’s three-year stint at Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
While on certain occasions Mourinho got the best of him, Messi has always posed a threat, and that remarkable Champions League goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2011 sums up his class.
The 27-year-old has helped the Catalan outfit to a trophy-laden past six years, and there seems no stopping yet as his two goals against Bayern took his season tally to 53 in all competitions.
Interestingly, Mourinho has faced Cristiano Ronaldo as a rival coach, but even his fellow countryman hasn’t quite posed the difficulties which come in challenging arguably the world’s greatest ever player.