"Is he the greatest ever?" Richard Keys asked.
Related ArticlesBarcelona 4 Arsenal 1; agg 6-3Barcelona v Arsenal: as it happenedHazard the 'new Messi'What makes Messi greatMessi has world at his feetMessi: I'll never be as good as Maradona"I don't know," Ruud Gullit started. "He's only 22. He's a great player."
"Yes," said Keys, labouring the point, "but is he the greatest ever?"
It was worth asking.
For those of us who grew up long after Pele had kicked his last ball, and who remembered seeing Maradona more often on the front pages than the back, Lionel Messi's performance for Barcelona against Arsenal quickened the pulse like no other.
Four goals, two of them tinged with genius, two merely impressive. There can be little serious argument that he is the best player in the world right now (although if you can think of a better one, do share), and one can only imagine what he might do on a global stage this summer.
Few players combine pace, skill and strength like Messi does. A strong header of the ball and an excellent reader of the game, he can legitimately claim to be the most complete player in world football.
But could he be - at the age of 22 - the greatest of all? Or is this just the hype machine getting three steps ahead of itself again? If you saw the likes of Pele, Best or Puskas playing, how does Messi compare? Join the debate. Have your say below.