Messi always does the unexpected, says Palop

The experienced shot-stopper has nothing but positive words for the tricky Argentine, and has set his sights on qualifying for the Champions League this term
Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop has taken the time to praise Barcelona star Lionel Messi ahead of Saturday's Primera Division encounter.

The 38-year-old Spaniard feels that the Argentina international is arguably the best player in the world, and added that it's impossible to predict what the Barca attacker will do on the pitch.

"Messi is the best player I have faced in my career. When he comes toward you, you just don't know what he's going to try to do," Palop was quoted as saying on the Uefa website.

"With Messi there's no point in thinking what he might attempt because he'll just end up doing something totally different, something so surprising."

The experienced goalkeeper then went on to discuss Sevilla's ambitions for the 2012-13 campaign, and made it clear he has set his sights on Champions League qualification.

"First off, we want to get back into Europe. The more experienced heads like me want to play in the Champions League again.

"We must convince the younger players of the importance of these objectives and if, toward the season's end, we are in a position to push for the Champions League then we have to go for it."

Sevilla currently sit fifth in La Liga with 11 points from five games.