In another testimony to the diminutive Argentine's growing legion of fans, star English footballer Wayne Rooney has said that he wants to be as good a player as Messi. Rooney, himself is one of the most bankable names in international football and is considered as the poster-boy of EPL side Manchester United.
The Mirror quoted Rooney as saying, "Messi is a great player and rightly World Player of the Year. I think, not just for me, but for every footballer out there, that's the target you want to try to get to and hopefully I can do that."
He added, "Barcelona have their style of play and we play differently - not everyone can play the way they do. They have their identity and we have our own."
It is not too long ago that Messi played in the finals of the UEFA Champions league final in which his side Manchester United was comprehensively beaten by Barcelona.
Reflecting on that final, Rooney said, "Full credit to them, they were a much better team than us on the day and deserved the win, but we"re looking forward to the new season now, trying to put that behind us and concentrating on what"s ahead."
And added, "I think you have to put it behind you. I still think it was a great achievement by us to get to the final. Obviously you want to win, but they were better than us so you have to hold your hands up to that."
Staying positive for the forthcoming EPL season, he said, "It"s always disappointing when you lose in any competition. We just want to do our best this season, try to retain the title and go that one step further in the Champions League."