Klopp says Messi 'best player ever' ahead of Barcelona match

Liverpool manager rates Messi above Ronaldo and Pele as his team prepare for Barcelona match.

    Klopp says Messi 'best player ever' ahead of Barcelona match
    Messi won the Spanish league trophy for the 10th time in his 15 seasons with the Catalan club on Saturday [Albert Gea/Reuters]

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said out of all the players he has seen in his career, Lionel Messi is the number one, as his team prepare to meet Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League.

    The Reds will meet the Spanish champions in the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

    "Messi would be for me, as a player I saw, the number one. Cristiano Ronaldo is for sure in that as well and all the rest we have to see." Klopp said on Tuesday ahead of the match.

    "I have coached a few really good players, but they didn't finish their careers so we have to… they still have time to develop." Klopp, who guided Liverpool to the final in 2018, added.

    Both teams have won the cup five times.

    Klopp said his side would dedicate part of their game plan to shackling Lionel Messi, but also stressed the quality Barca have elsewhere on the pitch.

    "It's not only about Messi but of course it's about him as well. We should in a lot of moments focus on Messi but if we only concentrate on him there are 10 world class players who can decide the game," he added.

    "Messi said before the season we want to bring back that cup. All I can say is we want to go the final as well. If we can show that tomorrow night, that would be good." Klopp said.

     Messi has won the FIFA World Player of the Year five times [Getty]

    On Saturday, Messi won the Spanish league trophy for the 10th time in his 15 seasons with the Catalan club.

    The Argentine scored the decisive goal - yet another - that allowed the team to clinch its eighth league title in 11 seasons.

    Messi, 31, has also helped the team advance to a fifth straight Copa del Rey final, and reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time in four seasons.

    SOURCE: News agencies