Kane is full of admiration for the Argentine forward and aspires to match his scoring feats in his own career.
"He and [Cristiano] Ronaldo have gone above the levels others set in the past," the England international replied to reporters when asked about Barca's talismanic number 10.
"When you're scoring the number of goals that he is, 40, 50, 60 goals a season, as a striker, I want to match that, I want to do the same.
"He has definitely set the standard for the rest of us - he still is.
"He's still scoring goals, so it motivates me to get even better and improve. Hopefully, one day, I can score as many, if not more, than he has."
Spurs go into the Group B fixture at Wembley Stadium without a point to their name after letting slip a one-goal lead in a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Inter.
The London club opened with a home win over Borussia Dortmund in last season's competition but, after their late collapse in Italy last month, now face the daunting prospect of hosting the La Liga champions knowing another defeat will put a serious dent in their qualification hopes.
Yet while he acknowledges Messi's side will provide a "big test", Kane wants Spurs to play positively in front of their own fans, rather than worry too much about their star-studded opponents.
"It's a massive game in the group - you never want to start with two losses," the striker added.
"At home, we've got to be strong if we want to progress. It's a big game for us, obviously. We know Barcelona are a top side but we showed last year that we can beat the top teams, especially at home.
"We are looking forward to the game and we know it's a big test. As players, you want to play against the best in the world, and Messi is certainly that.
@HKane on tomorrow's atmosphere: "We had an amazing crowd last season [against Real Madrid] and we should have a full house this time around too." #COYS pic.twitter.com/SOuYEIJ2Vq — Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 2, 2018
"But we need to focus on ourselves as well - we've got some great players and we need to play with energy and attack the game. Hopefully, if we do that, we can come out on top and take on that momentum for the rest of the campaign.
"We got off to a great start when beating Borussia Dortmund at home last season but obviously not as good in losing to Inter in this campaign, so we need to bounce back."