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Puyol hails Messi as 'the best in history'

Carles Puyol has labelled his former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi "the best in history" and also heralded Pep Guardiola as the world's top coach.

Puyol, 38, retired in 2014 after a glittering career with Barca and Spain, capturing six LaLiga titles and lifting the Champions League three times, as well as winning the World Cup and European Championship.

The former centre-back was already an established regular when Messi made his first-team debut in 2003 and, serving as captain for much of their time together, witnessed the Argentinian's meteoric rise to the top of the sport first hand.

"Messi does things with the ball that nobody can," Puyol told I am Naples.

"He has been playing at an incredible level for 10 years, which has led him to be the best in history."

Of Barca's fearsome attacking trident, he added: "Messi, [Luis] Suarez and Neymar are wonderful. It's difficult to find three players of the same calibre in the same club."

The most successful period of Puyol's club career came between 2008 and 2012, during the tenure of his former team-mate Guardiola, who is now in charge at Manchester City.

"He is the best technician in the world, he made me much better and he managed to make the best of my characteristics," Puyol said of the ex-Bayern Munich boss.