Fernando Gago has claimed today that his Argentine team-mate, Lionel Messi, is the best player in the world right now.
Messi, who finished second in the FIFA World Player Awards, has been in sparkling form for Barcelona lately and Gago told AS of his admiration for him.
"Messi is the best player in the world by some way,” he stated. “I always thank God that he is an Argentine, not just as a player, but as a person too. I have known him since I was 18, he is incredible, a very good person and we are very good friends.
"Right now, he is at another club, and we have a little bit of a rivalry, but the friendship is larger and stronger."
Another of Gago friends is Gonzalo Higuain, who, unlike Messi, plays at Real Madrid alongside him. However, the striker struggles to get into the Argentine team because of competition and Gago admits that it is hard but that his compatriot has to keep trying.
"He has to expect his opportunity,” he declared. “I have a friendship with him, not just from football. He has always helped me, in the move and in coaching, because in Argentina I lived with nothing. I will never forget what he has done."
Currently, both Higuain and Gago are chasing down Messi and Barcelona in what seems to be a thankless task, as they attempt to cut down a 12 points lead at the top of the Primera Division.
Gago believes that it is possible for them to catch the Catalan side.
"The difference in points is very large and Barcelona are playing very well, but we are also in good form and we have to continue winning, expecting Barcelona to fall," he admitted.
"If we did not believe it was possible to win the league, we would not go out each Sunday."
Gago, along with new signing Lassana Diarra, has been one of the key figures for Madrid this year, and the Argentine seems pleased with the way the partnership is going.
"He is a very good player and since the first day we have got on well. We are clear with our goals together and we are good on the pitch," he concluded.
James Walker-Roberts, Goal.com