Lionel Messi's presence makes Barcelona a better team than Spain, claims Franz Beckenbauer

The German legend has voiced his admiration for both the Champions League holders and the World Cup winners, but says the Catalans are better because of their star player
Former Germany international Franz Beckenbauer has taken the time to praise Barcelona and the Spanish national side but has stated that he believes the Catalans are the better of the two because they have Lionel Messi.

Spain have dominated international football in recent years as they won both Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, while Barcelona have lifted the Champions League trophy twice in the last three seasons.

"Barcelona have set the standard in football. They play perfect football because of the finesse of their game, their mobility and the way they move the ball around," Beckenbauer told Kicker.

"They're even better than the Spanish national team because they have Lionel Messi. They have the quality to successfully defend their Champions League title.

"Spain are the best national team in the world and are the favourites to win Euro 2012. Germany have made a lot of progress as well and are up there. France could spring a surprise. They made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2010, but are looking much better now."

Spain and Germany have already qualified for Euro 2012, while France need a draw from Tuesday's Group D game at home against Bosnia and Herzegovina to book their ticket.