Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has hailed Barcelona star Lionel Messi as the world’s best player and “an example for everyone.”
The Italian was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s European game against the Catalan giants, where he singled out Messi for individual praise.
Messi was described as being able to do things that Gattuso “had only seen on the PlayStation”, but reiterated that Quique Setien’s side were far from being just a one-man team.
The former Milan Coach guided his side to their fifth win in six games in all competitions on Friday night as they edged out basement side Brescia 2-1.
Napoli are now in a rich vein of form going into their Champions League Round of 16 clash against the Blaugrana on Tuesday night.
“Tomorrow we will have to suffer a lot, but I will be satisfied if we are not afraid, if we are alive, if we respect the opponent but if we play to our own strengths,” Gattuso told reporters, as cited by El Mundo Deportivo.
“Lionel Messi? I have read whether to make a cage or not, but we need the collective game to combat someone like him, and it is not just him.
“He is the best in the world, for how he has lived his entire career. He is always perfect, never a misplaced word, he is an example for everyone.
“He does things that I only see on the PlayStation. He has an incredible quality and for years he has been the best of all time.
“I know we are facing a great team, I have to thank the team and Ancelotti because I did nothing (to qualify from the groups).
“There is excitement and tomorrow we will need a great game in both phases, but especially when we have the ball.”
Napoli’s recent resurgence in form has put them on the brink of a place in the Coppa Italia final while they are also back into the top six in Serie A.
They went unbeaten through the group stage of the Champions League and secured a 2-0 home win over Liverpool in the process.