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The former Argentina centre-back has hailed his compatriot's fine performances and feels the attacker's year-on-year improvement means he is the best player ever

Former Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito believes that Lionel Messi is the best player in the history of the game even if he never wins the World Cup with Argentina.

The 26-year-old, who recently stated that he dreams of winning Brazil 2014, has often been criticised for his relatively underwhelming performances with the national side, but Milito feels his compatriot doesn't need international success in order to be seen as the best ever.

"It doesn't seem right to me to claim that you have to win the World Cup in order to be regarded as the best ever," Milito told RAC1.

"He just keeps on improving and outdoing himself year after year and that's why he is the best ever for me.

"I simply cannot imagine that there will ever be a player who can do what Leo has been doing on the pitch."

Messi has been in fine form in the opening weeks of the 2013-14 campaign, netting nine goals in six appearances for Barcelona.

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