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Coach, teammates praise Messi for record-breaking performance
Wednesday November 26, 2014 3:09 PM, Agencies

FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique and forward Pedro Rodriguez paid tributes to his team's record-breaking player Lionel Messi, saying the Argentine striker is "the greatest player of all time".

Lionel Messi

"Messi is the greatest player of all time. He will continue to surprise us all for years to come," Enrique said Tuesday.

FC Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez said that teammate Lionel Messi's record-breaking feat and new striker Luis Suarez's first goal for the club will serve as a confidence booster for the rest of the season.

"It's a great joy, a confidence booster which will bring lots of harmony," Pedro said Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

It's really what we want for the team, to be united," he said.

The praises by the caoch and teammates came after Messi struck a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-0 away win against APOEL Nicosia that lifted him to 74 goals, ahead of former Real Madrid star Raul Gonzalez (71) and current Real striker Cristiano Ronaldo (70) to make him the highest ever scorer in the continental tournament.

Lionel Messi on his part said the record of becoming the highest scorer ever in the UEFA Champions League is a 'fantastic' achievement.

"I am very happy. It is fantastic to achieve this record in this beautiful and important competition," Messi said Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

The Argentinean had started the game as the joint highest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League with 71 goals, the same as former Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez, and one more than current Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo, reports Xinhua.

Messi's European record comes after his hat-trick Saturday that saw him overtake former Spanish striker Telmo Zarra's feat of 251 goals to become the highest scorer in the Spanish La Liga.

Messi has now scored 253 goals in the Spanish League and will look to adding to that tally when his side play Valencia this coming weekend.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance to catch up with Messi's record Wednesday in his team's away game against Basel.

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