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The Los Angeles Lakers star revealed his great admiration for Messi and his partiality to Barca...

Los Angeles Lakers basketball superstar Kobe Bryant has heaped praise on Barcelona phenom Lionel Messi for the Argentine's unbelievable performances in a Blaugrana shirt.

"He is the most incredible player I have ever seen," he said according to Sport. The truth is that it amazes me when the best player in the world continues inventing things that I have never seen before. He still has the ability to grow and improve as a player and he is very young.

"I try to watch all of Barca's matches on TV when I do not have to play my own games. For example, what he did last week against Arsenal in the Champions League was incredible. He is a phenomenal player, he competes for every ball, he plays harder than anyone, keeps the ball at his feet no matter what is going on around him. He is a very difficult player to defend because of his style of play."

Asked to compare Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger's comments that Messi was like a player from Playstation, Bryant believed that the truth was not too far off from the Frenchman's comments.

"That's a good way of putting it. Messi is a very creative player and you never know what he is going to do with the ball. He creates excitement for the fans every time he touches the ball."

Asked whether he was able to watch El Clasico against Madrid at the Bernabeu, Bryant lamented having missed the match.

"I was only able to see the highlights. Messi scored another incredible goal."

Finally, Bryant revealed why he was a fan of football and of Barcelona in particular.

"I grew up in Milan where my father played basketball and football was always a sport I was very passionate about. When I grew up, I always followed the best players and I really liked watching Ronaldinho when he played at Barca. Later, Messi's eruption was spectacular. He is the most incredible player I have ever seen," Bryant concluded.

The Lakers will travel to Barcelona in October to take part in a friendly match against the Blaugrana's basketball team, Regal Barca. Bryant hopes to come face to face with Messi on that date.

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