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Lionel Messi is better now than four years ago - Carles Puyol

The retired Barcelona defender has stated that the Argentine is the best player on the planet.

Barcelona wrapped up a memorable treble with Champions League success over Juventus in Berlin earlier this month, with Luis Enrique’s team captivating audiences across the world.

Lionel Messi is the Blaugrana’s attacking talisman, and club legend Carles Puyol believes he is better now than he was in his prime four years ago, as per La Vanguardia.

The retired defender played alongside the four-time Ballon d’Or winner for years and witnessed first hand Messi’s ability as he led the side to a treble under Pep Guardiola in 2008.

However, Puyol has stated that Messi is better now than he was in his playing days and has labelled him as the best player in the world.

“It was Messi's league title,” Puyol told La Vanguardia.

"He's head and shoulders above anyone I've seen. He's extraterrestrial. He's better now than he was four years ago because he reads the game better. He's unstoppable.”

Enrique dropped Messi for the first game of 2015, a 1-0 defeat against Real Sociedad at Anoeta, but since then the Argentine has been in superlative form.

The 28-year-old is currently on international duty with Argentina at the Copa America, and helped his country through to the semi-finals with a penalty shootout victory over Colombia on Saturday.

Messi’s partnership with Luis Suarez and Neymar in the Barcelona attack was superb last season, with the Catalan side sure to take some stopping next term.

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