'Finding another Messi is very complicated' - Barcelona star one of a kind, admits Jordi Alba

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The Spain international defender concedes that playing in a side which does not include the mercurial Argentine makes his job more difficult

Lionel Messi is a unique talent and Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba concedes that turning out for any side without the Argentine is “very complicated”.

The mercurial forward is already assured of a standing alongside the all-time greats following a remarkable career for club and country.

Countless records have been set down the years, while an enviable collection of honours includes eight La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns and five Ballons d’Or.

At 30 years of age, there is still the promise of plenty more to come from Messi, and Alba admits that he misses a man he enjoys a productive on-field understanding with when they are away with their respective countries.

The Spain international full-back said ahead of a friendly date with world champions Germany: "Finding another Leo is very complicated.

"There are great players here with whom I also understand perfectly, but above all we will have to wait and see how the coach wants to play."

Alba has also taken the opportunity to talk up the value of another illustrious colleague at Camp Nou.

World Cup winner Andres Iniesta is now a 33-year-old and being linked with a possible move to China this summer, but those around him for club and country acknowledge that he remains an elite talent.

Andrés Iniesta Barcelona La Liga 01282018

"He is a special player and the only one of his kind at Barcelona," said Alba.

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"I have enjoyed playing with him since 2012 and he is a vital player for us, both in the national team and at Barcelona.

"He is having a magnificent season and we are better on the pitch with him.

"We must make sure he is healthy as he is vital to helping us win titles here and with Barcelona."

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