Lionel Messi's masterful destruction of Arsenal inspired awe in Catalonia - and fear in Madrid.
With just a few days before Real Madrid host Barcelona in 'El Clasico', the press in the Spanish capital begrudgingly saluted a sublime performance that sent the Gunners crashing out of the Champions League at the Nou Camp.
Madrid-based AS labelled Messi 'the one who scares us' after his four goals made it 4-1 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate in the quarter-final.
'In a memorable performance, in a show to the taste of lovers of good football, "The Flea" destroyed in 21 minutes,' said AS after a quickfire first-half hat-trick in response to Nicklas Bendtner's opener.
Loyalists Marca also saw the result from a Real perspective, with the front-page headline: 'How do we stop this guy?'
The sports paper's online edition gushed: 'Messi came down from heaven to put things in their place. Arsenal were the victims of another superhuman game by Leo Messi.'
Catch me if you can: 'The Flea' gets under Arsenal's skin
El Pais declared 'Messi snacks on Arsenal' before pondering the enigma of a player who says little, but does his talking on the pitch.
'Messi just likes playing football and scoring goals,' they mused. 'He is only interested in pleasure, when getting the ball he becomes competitive and settles the most difficult games. Children don't ask but just go to play in the yard. Messi's silences are as difficult to interpret as their silences.'
ABC wondered in his out-of-this world qualities, writing: 'History repeats itself, but it is so beautiful that no one ever tires of recounting the details.
High praise (from left): Catalonia-based Mundo Deportivo, Madrid's AS and Buenos Aires sports paper Ole lead the adulation
'There is no greater privilege than to enjoy Leo Messi and his immortal football, capable of putting Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals after moving half the planet with his enormous exhibition.'
It's hard to forget Messi is just 22 as El Mundo declared: 'Nothing seems to escape the power of "The Flea", that shy guy at Rosario, of fragile appearance and indomitable spirit.'
The Catalan press, who have had the privilege of witnessing first hand another incredible season, are fast running out of ways to describe their star.
Sport's simple headline was 'Megamessi'. Their website insisted: 'Don't say football, say Messi.' Their reporter wrote: 'How to I explain that? This is the question a journalist asks when he has to narrate yet another concert, yet another exhibition.
Centre of attention: Messi celebrates on his way to a four-goal haul
'I suppose it's not necessary to explain that we are talking about Leo Messi. Messi is the solution to everything. Any problem that you could have, he'll solve it.'
Mundo Deportivo were also inarticulate in their 'Meeesi' headline, but made up for it with the superlatives: 'The Argentine is a superior being, God of football, who came down from heaven to lead Barca, ready to continue making history.'
El Periodico described him as 'The master of Europe' on their front page and inside called Messi 'a supernatural being, more and more indescribable every day, ever more fast, more brilliant'.
They were equally proud in Argentina, with the headlines: 'Messi took another jump in his genius' (Clarin), 'King of the quartet' (Ole), and, 'Messi raised the bar even further' (La Nacion).
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