John Obi Mikel, a former Chelsea midfielder, has named former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi as the best player he has ever played against during his professional football career.
Mikel Obi played against Messi on several occasions both at the national team level against Argentina and Chelsea against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Asked to name the best player he has played against, the former Nigerian international named Messi, adding that the Inter Miami captain is from a different planet.
Mikel Obi said, “For me, Messi, Messi was the guy. Training the whole week was about Messi, the game plan was just to kick him.
“We have to have like two or three players with him. You cannot defend one vs one against Messi, it is impossible, you are dead.
“And the way he played, the way they move the ball around, the sole purpose of getting the ball to him and all he is doing is watching the game, I know we all talk about how he walks around but it is just but it is just to find the space and once that ball gets to him, the movement, everybody is running, moving.
“It is so difficult, the way he touches the ball, the way he passes. He is just for me, I know the comparison is there but because I have played against both [Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] and Messi was very close to me when we played against them. For me, I am not going to say miles because of what Cristiano has done as well, but for me I really don’t see the comparison because I just think Messi is from a different planet. He is that good.”