Messi would have become great anywhere, says former Barcelona VP

The current Manchester City CEO has hailed the Blaugrana's treatment of the forward, but believes the Argentina international would have become a star at any club
Lionel Messi would have developed into a world-class player at any club, according to former Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano.

The prolific attacker joined the Barca youth academy at the tender age of 11 and has since developed into one of the best players the game has ever seen, winning four Ballons d'Or up till date.

"Messi is an extraordinary talent, pretty much unmatched. He would have developed into a great at any team," the current Manchester City CEO told La Nacion.

"However, he was planted in very fertile soil at Barcelona. He was watered and tended to with a lot of care in a good system.

"While Messi was growing, Barcelona looked after him to make sure all the basics were ok and to keep giving him new challenges, like playing against older opponents. He didn't get complacent that way and always had to give his best.

"When he turned professional, his contract was improved a number of times without him asking for a pay rise. That kept him calm and relaxed and made sure that he felt appreciated."

The 25-year-old has netted well over 200 La Liga goals for Barca since making his official league debut in 2004-05.