Raul: Messi best I've ever faced

Raul has played with a host of stars but Lionel Messi is the pick of the bunch for the Real Madrid icon.

New York Cosmos striker Raul said Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi is the best player he has ever played against during his glittering career.

Messi - a four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner - is enjoying another stellar season as Barca attempt to claim the treble, with the Argentina international having scored 49 goals in all competitions in 2014-15.

Raul, who is now plying his trade in the United States after 16 trophy-laden years with Real Madrid, selected the 27-year-old Barca star as his greatest opponent.

"I was lucky enough to play with Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano... but Messi is different," the 37-year-old told Sports Illustrated.

"He makes everything look so easy, so effortless – even the impossible. When you watch him play, it's almost as though you are watching him in the street playing with his mates. 

"From the time when I started out, the best players around then were Roberto Baggio and Ryan Giggs."

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