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The 1990 World Cup star has nothing but praise for his compatriot, and has stressed that there can be little doubt he is the best player in the world at the current time

Former Argentina international Claudio Caniggia believes that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the greatest player of his generation, and says he is on par with legends such as Diego Maradona and Alfredo Di Stefano.

Messi won the inaugural two editions of the Fifa Ballon d'Or and is one of the favourites to win the award this year and make it three in a row, and Caniggia feels the 25-year-old is on a higher level than any of his rivals.

"This is Messi's era, there cannot be any discussion about it," Caniggia told Globoesporte. "It does not matter whether he is the best ever. What matters is that he is the best of his generation.

"I am very proud that Argentina has three players among the best players in the history of the game with Messi, Maradona and Di Stefano.

"Messi has really improved his image as a leader and takes his responsibility. It's all going very well for him."

The Blaugrana star has already netted 26 goals in 20 appearances for the Catalans this season.

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