9 years ago1.8K views
Lionel Messi's brilliance helped send holders Barcelona through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 win over Stuttgart.
Fresh from a hat-trick in La Liga at the weekend, the Argentina forward set Barca on their way with a 13th-minute stunner, was instrumental in Pedro's second goal and scored again himself before a late strike from substitute Bojan Krkic sealed a 5-1 aggregate win.
Coach Pep Guardiola had no doubts when asked about the Fifa World Player of the Year.
"He is the best. There's nothing else to say, he is very important in the team. In all team sports the best is very important.
"Jordan was for The Bulls, Bryant is for the Lakers and he is here. That is why he is the best. Some will like other players better, of course, but we wouldn't change him for anything," he said.
Stuttgart coach Christian Gross echoed Guardiola's comments, comparing Messi to Diego Maradona.
"It's unbelievable when you think about how young he is. We could make a comparison with Diego Maradona, I think it's right to do that. It's amazing when you think he is only 22," he said.
Barca's victory has sent the team through to the last eight for a third successive season and kept Spanish hopes alive after the elimination of La Liga sides Real Madrid and Sevilla.