Lionel Messi has been likened to "an illness that can’t be cured" in a bizarre back-handed compliment following his latest footballing masterclass.
It seemed the football world had finally run out of superlatives for the Argentina ace as Valladolid director David Espinar attempted to sum up another glittering performance against a club that are owned by Brazil legend Ronaldo.
“Messi is a smallpox, but there is no vaccine," Espinar remarked in the post-match press conference.
“He is an admirer of Ronaldo Nazario, and our president has already said that he admires him.
"It's a mutual feeling, and Ronaldo will have been as astonished as everyone tonight but feeling a little bitter that Messi has done this against us.”
Not for the first time in his career Messi completely stole the show, producing his 50th goal from a free-kick in his career and another rocket strike from an Ivan Rakitic pass.
He also set up goals for Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal while executing a stunning nutmeg on Valladolid’s Oscar Plano.
Team-mate Vidal was also in awe of Messi’s performance saying: “We see him every day and he surprises us every day with the quality he has. He’s from another planet. I have no words about Leo, he’s from another world.”
Barca manager Ernesto Valverde joined in the praise by adding: “We else can be said about him? I’ve run out of words.
“His talent isn’t comparable to anything, he has a talent nobody else has. He can get past anybody, but it’s not just a question of him doing an individual move.
“The reality is that every time he touches the ball, something special happens. I just don’t know what to say.
“We have times in training, you think he’s going to pass to the left or the right but he passes somewhere else you can’t anticipate.
“You only see it with this type of player. He’s feeling better every day. He’s getting back to form after a spell out of the team.”