Messi the most undervalued player in football, claims Moneyball author Billy Beane

The man who discovered 'sabermetrics' believes that it is impossible to overestimate the worth of a talent capable of scoring five goals in a single Champions League match
Lionel Messi may be widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, but Moneyball author Billy Beane actually believes that the Barcelona forward is actually the most undervalued player in the game.

In the past fortnight alone, the Argentina international has become the first man to score five goals in a single Champions League game and broken his club's all-time goalscoring record, all at the tender age of 24.

Consequently, Beane, the man behind 'sabermetrics', is of the opinion that Messi is effectively priceless and therefore his value is impossible to quantify.

Indeed, when asked during an interview with The Guardian to name the most underrated player in the game, the American replied: "I'd actually say Lionel Messi. He's so remarkable, watching him play he's probably still undervalued.

"When you're scoring five goals in one Champions League match, there's no value that's too high."

Messi's treble against Granada on Tuesday night means that he has now netted 234 times for the Blaugrana, twice more than previous record goalscorer Cesar Rodriguez.

Between November and February, Goal.com published 10 exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Click here to read all 10 extracts. Don't miss it!