Madrid press join Messi appreciation

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The Independent Football

The Madrid press today joined the rest of the world's media in hailing Lionel Messi as the greatest player on the planet following his display against Arsenal.

With the 'Clasico' between Real and Barcelona coming up this weekend, even Madrid dailies AS and Marca had to admit Messi, who scored all four in Barca's 4-1 Champions League win over the Gunners yesterday, was a cut above.

"Messi is scary, not of this world," proclaimed AS.

"The world press talks about the 'Messiah'. With the massive performance against Arsenal, Messi has left an indelible mark on football worldwide.

"We continue to rain down praise."

Marca hailed Messi as the successor to some of the greatest players in history.

"First it was Pele, then Maradona - now welcome the new king," said the paper. "The world kneels at the feet of Messi."

The Barcelona papers, more used to showering praise on the 22-year-old, were looking for new superlatives to describe his performance.

In El Mundo Deportivo, Messi was described as "brilliant and decisive, explosive and lethal; the number one."

It continued: "It's not that Barca depend on Messi, it's that Messi is football."

Sport suggested Messi was putting his illustrious team-mates in the shade

"The young man is able to belittle everything those by his side do; Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimovic... Whatever. Messi is the solution to everything. Any problems you have, he'll solve them."