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The Spain boss refuses to believe that the prolific attacker is in decline following a difficult season and believes he remains a special player

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has stressed that it's impossible for Lionel Messi to keep on performing at the highest level all the time, but feels the Barcelona star remains an extraordinary player.

The Argentina international went through a difficult period last season and some suggested that the 27-year-old might be past his best.

However, Del Bosque has insisted it's only logical that players like Messi occasionally go through weaker moments, but feels the attacker remains arguably one of the best around.

"It is very difficult to always be at Messi's level. He cannot keep it up forever," Del Bosque was quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo.

"Great players like him and Cristiano Ronaldo can always go through some weaker moments.

"But let there be no doubt about it that he is an extraordinary player and he has shown that on numerous occasions, like in Barcelona's first two league games of the season."

Messi netted twice in Barcelona's 3-0 opening day win over Elche, before setting up the winner in their 1-0 win versus Villarreal on Sunday.

He played no part in Argentina's 4-2 friendly win over Germany on Wednesday after sustaining a minor injury ahead of the international break.
 

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