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Lionel Messi's decision-making and execution are next to none.

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Javier Mascherano remains in awe of how Lionel Messi dictates matches.

Mascherano heaps praise on six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi. [Getty]
Mascherano heaps praise on six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi. [Getty]

The fact Lionel Messi makes the right decision at the right moment makes him a unique footballer, according to Javier Mascherano. Ex-Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder Mascherano played alongside Messi for eight years at the Nou Camp, winning five LaLiga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups. And, the former Argentina international, who currently plies his trade at Estudiantes de La Plata, admits he is still amazed at how Messi continues to influence games in ways very few players can. The 35-year-old told radio programme Cielosports: "The majority of good players make good decisions, but they don't execute them in the best way, or vice versa – the execution is good, but it doesn't end up being the best decision.

"What makes the difference in football is decision-making and execution, and Leo does both things well, and at an incredible speed, and that's why he's different. "Normally, the game dominates us and takes you with it, but in Leo's case it's the other way around: he decides what to do or what not to do with the game. "He knows how to save his strength and that allows him, during a match, to have seven, eight or 10 important actions at 100 per cent. That's how he can dominate the game."

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