The 24-year-old has been in excellent form for the Catalans in the 2011-12 campaign and is widely considered to be one of the best footballers in the history of the game.
Brehme feels that Messi is a phenomenon and is particularly impressed with his intelligence on the pitch.
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"I would not have been able to stop him. He's a phenomenon. He thoroughly impressed me in the Champions League final against Manchester United. He was too much for [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand," Brehme said to El Pais.
"He is better than Maradona in my opinion. He is 23 [sic] and has already won everything. He has much more brains. That's something that Maradona lacked."
Brehme, who wore the jerseys of clubs such as Bayern Munich and Inter during his active career, then went on to praise former Brazil international Roberto Carlos, adding: "Roberto Carlos is the best left-back ever. He had it all: pace, strength, power and an impressive shot."
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