PELE believes Celtic were unfortunate enough to face the best player in the world in Lionel Messi on Tuesday.

The little Argentinian magician, of course, put the Parkhead men to the sword with a sensational performance, walloping in a hat-trick as Barcelona overwhelmed Brendan Rodgers’ side 7-0 in the Nou Camp in a lopsided Champions League encounter.

The Hoops boss had previously stated he reckoned his former Liverpool star Luis Suarez was the top man in the awesome trio, along with Neymar, that make up Barca’s three-pronged attack.

It was Messi, though, who stole the show against the Parkhead side with a devastating display that started as early as the third minute when he cracked the opener past Dorus de Vries.

Pele, the Brazilian acclaimed as the greatest-ever player, said: “I could mention some names, but what has happened in the last 10 to 15 years, I think Messi is the player who was the most consistent all those years, no doubt.

“We have had a lot of good players. Then Cristiano Ronaldo came late, but it is different because Messi is the more organised, he scores goals.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is like the Ronaldo from Brazil. He is a good scorer no doubt, but, to me, as a player it is Messi.”

Pele, now 75, won World Cup medals in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and scored 77 goals in 91 appearances for his country.

Celtic fans will get another opportunity to watch Messi in action at Parkhead on November 23 when Barca are back in town on Day Five of Champions League business.

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