Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic labelled team-mate Lionel Messi as “the best in history” and explained the star’s shyness.
Messi, 30, is arguably the greatest player of all time, having won five Ballons d’Or to go with numerous team trophies, including eight La Liga crowns and four Champions Leagues.
Rakitic lauded his Barca team-mate, saying the Argentina international could turn a game in a moment.
“He’s the reference. Our game depends a lot on him. He doesn’t need to talk to understand, a gesture is enough,” the Croatian told Antena 3.
“He is the best in history, capable of turning the game around in a second. He is shy because he knows that everyone is watching him.”
Rakitic arrived at Barca from Sevilla in 2014 and has helped the Spanish giants win two La Liga crowns and a Champions League title.
The 88-time Croatia international said Messi played a key role in helping him settle in at Camp Nou.
“He was one of the first to support me when I arrived and I was wondering if I needed something,” Rakitic said. “He is a different person from the others.”