‘I give thanks to see Messi play’

New Malaga striker Javier Saviola has declared himself thankful he was born in the same century as Lionel Messi and sees him play.

Saviola, back in Spain with the Costa del Sol outfit having been signed from Benfica in the summer transfer window, will be playing for his fourth La Liga club after spells with Barcelona, Sevilla and Real Madrid.

Asked his thoughts on the debate over who should win the next Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, he was in no doubt his allegiances lie with his countryman.

“For me it should be Messi. He surpasses all adjectives. I am a lover of what he has to offer, how he plays and the things he does on a football pitch.

“I must give thanks and be happy I was born in the same century just to see Messi play,” said Saviola in an interview with AS.

He was also asked to give his opinion on whether Messi needed to win World Cup to be considered the greatest player ever.

“Those are things for others. Being one of the best players in history never lets you relax and he is under a lot of pressure, but Messi is proving how great he is.

“Winning the World Cup is the last thing left for him. I didn’t see others such as Pele and Di Stefano so it is difficult to comment.

“However, of those of us currently playing Messi is the best,” he concluded.

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