Mats Hummels said Lionel Messi is the best footballer he has ever seen after the Barcelona superstar ran Borussia Dortmund ragged in the Champions League.
Messi scored once and assisted two others as Barca eased past Dortmund 3-1 and into the last 16 at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
It was a memorable 700th Barca outing for Messi, who set up Luis Suarez for the 29th-minute opener before his team-mate returned the favour four minutes later.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi then teed up substitute Antoine Griezmann with 23 minutes remaining to cap a stellar display, prompting high praise from Dortmund defender Hummels.
"In top form, Messi is the best footballer I have ever seen – period," Hummels, who gave the ball away for Messi's goal, said post-game.
"We were not good enough to beat Barcelona today. We only created three or four real chances."
Hummels added: "It was not a bad game, but not a very good one. Barcelona were excellent though. Messi is always dangerous, of course.
"We had a really bad spell after that first goal, with my bad pass that led to their second goal."
The result left Dortmund third and level on seven points with second-placed Inter heading into the final matchday in Group F.
Dortmund take on Slavia Prague on December 10, while Inter welcome group winners Barca to Milan on the same day.
The Black and Yellows have been struggling in the Bundesliga, currently sitting sixth on the standings, five points behind league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.
Dortmund has only won three of their past 10 league matches, and their last two results have been a 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich and a 3-3 draw with Paderborn.
They face a dangerous away clash on Sunday as they meet Hertha in Berlin, who have just appointed new coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The club's manager Lucien Favre has been under pressure following the poor run of form, with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc giving the coach an ultimatum prior to the Barca match .