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FC Barcelona Legend Messi ‘Would Be Best MLS Player At 80 Years Old’

FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi would be the best player in the MLS even at 80 years of age according to former Manchester United and Villarreal star Guiseppe Rossi, who made this claim to DAZN.

Rossi is now retired but competed against Messi in La Liga for six years from 2007-2013. He saw the Argentine’s generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo up close when they were teammates at Old Trafford, yet has no doubt about who he’d pick as the best player of the two in one of soccer’s biggest debates.

“They both bring different things to the game, that’s why it’s so hard to compare them. The positioning is different, the style of play is different. The interpretation of the game is different,” Rossi explained.

“Ronaldo went from a winger to being the best number nine on the planet, scoring goals is all he cares about. Messi is a goalscorer but he facilitates and I appreciate that as a player who likes to come deep and get the ball.

“He’s a more cerebral player, Messi, and therefore some people don’t understand that part of the game. Those who do appreciate it more.

“So that’s why I lean more towards watching Messi play. It’s all about preference. I was lucky enough to have had the privilege of playing against them during that era in Spain,” Rossi reflected, about his time with the ‘Yellow Submarine’ – Villarreal.

Messi of course now plies his trade at Inter Miami, who he has taken from being a trophyless outfit that failed to make the playoffs last term to Leagues Cup winners in 2023 and the leaders of the Eastern Conference after 10 games this season.

Analysing his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain on the whole and what it means for the sport in America, Rossi said that “the expectation of Lionel Messi coming to the MLS has nothing to do with performance on the pitch – it’s all about the league performance off the pitch”.

“It was about how much Messi could generate from his short period at the time and I think they’ve done it. If you look at the TV rights and the merchandise it has skyrocketed, everything is going just as they planned it.”

Rossi then made the bold claim that, “If you look at him on the pitch, he could be 80 years old and still be the best player on the field in the MLS. Everyone loves to see him because he is the greatest of all time.”

The ex-Italy international believes there might be issues down the road when the 36-year-old is “done and he wants to hang up his boots”.

“Who is going to fill that void in the MLS? I feel like that is going to be a problem,” Rossi concluded on this.

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