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Messi is football's Michael Jordan, says Barcelona coach Guardiola

The Blaugrana boss believes that the diminutive Argentine is dominating the game in the same way that the former Chicago Bulls star reigned supreme in basketball.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hailed Lionel Messi as football's equivalent of Michael Jordan after the forward became the club's record goalscorer in Tuesday night's 5-3 La Liga win over Granada.

The diminutive Argentine struck a sensational hat trick at Camp Nou to move two clear of Cesar Rodriguez's previous landmark tally of 232 goals for the Catalan club.

When asked immediately after the game if Messi, at the age of 24, already deserves to be ranked alongside the likes of basketball legend Jordan in the pantheon of sporting greats, Guardiola replied: "Maybe, yes. There have been very few like them in history, who dominated their sport like that."

Guardiola is in no doubt that Messi must be considered the finest player in the world today.

"Messi is the best and he shows it every three days," the former Spain international enthused. "I'm sorry for the others, but this boy is something different ...

"I'm sorry for those who want to compete for Messi's throne. It's impossible. This boy is the best."

Messi's treble against Granada means that he has now netted 54 times in 45 matches in all competitions this season.

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