Martin Braithwaite ‘honoured’ to play with ‘best ever’ Lionel Messi at Barcelona

New Barcelona signing Martin Braithwaite has spoken of his excitement at playing alongside Lionel Messi, whom he described as football’s best ever player.

The Denmark international completed his move to the Camp Nou on Thursday after his €18m release clause was triggered by the club in controversial circumstances.

The Blaugrana found out on Monday that they are allowed by La Liga to sign a contracted player from another Spanish club this month following a long-term injury for Ousmane Dembele, who will not feature again this campaign.

This ruling has provoked some controversy, as Lega were powerless to stop Braithwaite leaving – due to his release clause being activated – and are unable to sign a replacement themselves.

“He is surely the best player in history, so it is a great honour to have the opportunity to play with him,” Braithwaite told his press conference, as cited by Marca. “It’s a great moment for me and I can always say that I played with him.

“I am very excited, it is a dream come true for me. Everyone who plays football dreams of playing for Barça and here I am.

“I want to win many titles. In Barça there is a lot of pressure and many expectations set. I hope to win as much as possible.

“I am a technical player, I am also physical, fast and strong and I would say that my best feature is that I am intelligent. I try to move around the field and study the game.

“I am a football student and I always try to improve my game. Of course I am a scorer and I hope to score many goals.”

Braithwaite has penned a four-and-a-half year contract at Barcelona which will contain a €300m release clause.

Leganes have already lost star striker Youssef En-Nesyri last month, when Sevilla signed him in a €20m deal.

Leganes failed in an appeal to the Spanish FA to be able to sign a player to replace Braithwaite this month.

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