Granada midfielder, Ramon Azeez, says Argentina and Barcelona megastar, Lionel Messi, is the toughest opponent he has played against in his career.

Both players have come up against each other on seven occasions in the Spanish Primera Liga, with the Barca talisman victorious on six of those occasions.

In a chat with The PUNCH, Azeez, who spent last season on loan to Cartagena, believed the six-time World Footballer of The Year ranked above every other player he had played against.

“I have faced a lot of players and in La Liga. I have played against Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and so many of them, but I can tell you that the toughest player that I have ever come across in my entire career is Messi.

“Everybody knows what Messi is capable of doing. There are times you feel he is not on the pitch and another minute he makes things happen. Also, I can tell you that it is easy to take Ronaldo out of a game but you can’t do that to Messi because he is always difficult to stop.”

Granada missed out on the chance to play in Europe next season after finishing ninth on La Liga table, but the midfielder is confident they can do better next season.

He added, “We are confident of making it to Europe next season, we just have to prepare ourselves very well the way we usually do and I think with the quality of players we have we can make things happen next season.”

On his future, Azeez said, “At the moment I am still a Granada player but in football and during the transfer window, a lot can happen. For now, I just want to focus on the task at hand and help my team when the season starts.”

Punch

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