Real Zaragoza coach José Aurelio Gay:
Tonight, I saw Diego Maradona, but at more revs per minute. There are no words left to describe him – he is interplanetary. We could have beaten Barcelona but we could never have beaten Leo Messi. If we had scored four, he would have scored 12.
It was a performance that started off well, got better in the middle, and by the end was barely believable. One that left you feeling exhausted just watching it, full of ridiculously good touches. It got better and better and better and when you thought it couldn't get any better it got better again. One that went from Crikey to Bloody Hell to Oh my God to Now, you're really taking the mickey. Only Messi wasn't taking the mickey, he was just playing football – the way he plays football. The way no one else has played football. Maybe ever before.
Sigh, what can one say? Adjectives are beginning to fall short for this little man who seems to require neither space nor time to work his mojo. President Joan Laporta, frothing from every visible orifice, declared Messi the greatest player in history after the game, as if he [Laporta] were somehow qualified to say. He was getting a little carried away, and Messi will need to now prove his qualifications with his national side before any more can be seriously said on the subject. But, yes, the lad's a bit useful.