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The former Barcelona coach credited with discovering the world's best player has lavished praise on his former protege, comparing him to Alfredo Di Stefano

Former Barcelona coach Carles Rexach has praised the humble attitude of Lionel Messi, whom he discovered and signed for the club.

The 65-year-old said he admired Messi's personality, and insisted that the Argentina star's traits were an important thing for football.

"Along with [Alfredo] Di Stefano, these are the two players who play without a position, and [still] score. They were the only ones I've seen do that throughout my life," Rexach told AS.

"One of Messi's great strengths is listening more than talking, and that is very important in football and in life. The fact that Leo has grown up with many of his peers makes no player jealous of Messi. He is not a figure that puts his chest out."

Messi, who has 84 goals in this calendar year - one short of the record set by Gerd Muller in 1972, was injured in Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday, but is expected to return against Real Betis  on Sunday.

Barcelona's game at Estadio Benito Villamarin kicks off at 21:00CET.

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