Buenos Aires: Roberto Ayala is one footballer who has had the honour of playing with both Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi and the Argentina assistant coach believes that they are two footballing giants.
Speaking on '90 minutes' with Fox Sports, the former player spoke about the two names which have shone on the football stage like diamonds.
"I played with both of them, with Diego I was taking my first steps. They are two footballing giants, and when he retires, Messi will be remembered. I don't know if it'll be like Diego, it doesn't matter. They are different. Diego was pure art in all his mannerisms, Messi a Speedy GonzÃ¡lez who carries the ball two centimetres from his foot," he said.
Ayala also believes that Messi has the ability to help the national team and feels that the fact that Messi wants to be treated as one among the other players and not as a star makes him a delight to work with.
"I hope that he gives us his footballing level, that he makes us grow as a team. Having a team with him, not of him. He wants to be treated like this, like just one more. We told the players that he will not be treated differently by us. You all have to step up, do what you do for your clubs, and he will help you. You have to take advantage of that," he revealed.
Brazilian star Neymar had earlier revealed how Messi, one of the greatest footballers to have played the beautiful game, always had his back at Barcelona.
"Honestly, it's difficult, very difficult for me to talk about Messi, because it was very special for me at Barcelona, I say this to everybody," he told Rede Globo's Esporte Espetacular.
"At the moment when I needed the most support, the best player in the world arrived and gave me a hand. He said: 'Come here, I'm here to help you.'"