'No planning for Messi, you just react' - Barcelona superstar hailed by Deco

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A former team-mate of the mercurial Argentine at Camp Nou says the five-time Ballon d'Or winner would make any team in the world better

Opponents cannot plan for Lionel Messi, they must simply react to the "unpredictable" Barcelona superstar, says former team-mate Deco.

The pair made their debuts for Barca in the 2004-05 season, although Deco arrived having lifted the Champions League trophy with Jose Mourinho's Porto in the previous campaign.

Together at Camp Nou they won two La Liga titles, two Supercopas de Espana and the Champions League in 2006 – ending a 14-year wait for the Catalan club to get their hands on European football's top honour for the second time.

Messi has continued to rack up the silverware and Deco believes the incredible ability of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner makes it impossible for opposing teams to stop him.

Deco told Omnisport: "What I can say is that, when you have a player like Messi, be it any team in the world, you have a little advantage.

"Messi is not only a goalscorer, he creates, he defines the way the opponent defends their approach, their training.

"Coming up against Messi, things aren't going to be easy. They are going to be a lot different for the opposition, because he's unpredictable in one-on-one duels, and also with his passes.

"And obviously, the other team ends up very reactive to what he does on the field."

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