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Lionel Messi scored his first ever goal against Chelsea on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, giving Barça a valuable away goal heading into the March 14 return leg at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi scored his first ever goal against Chelsea on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, giving Barça a valuable away goal heading into the March 14 return leg at Camp Nou. | GERMAN PARGA - FCB

In the wake of FC Barcelona's 1–1 draw at Chelsea in Tuesday night's first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16, a quartet of the most famous footballers in English history articulately laid out their arguments as to what makes Lionel Messi — who scored the tying goal — the greatest.

"He's not on the same wavelength as everybody else," said Frank Lampard, the retired Chelsea legend who, having faced Messi several times before, knows from experience. "As soon as that ball was set back — a great ball by Iniesta — you knew exactly what was going to happen. Very clinical."

"It's almost as though he stands above the field and watches it [looking] down," opined Gary Lineker, the former Barça player and England international.

But the praise for Messi didn't stop there. Rio Ferdinand's take went one step further than Lineker's. "I just feel that he — in his own eyes and in his own vision —the game just slows down for him."

"He is remarkable," said Steven Gerrard. "Just his first touch, his movements, how clever the space he finds is, in the small clever pockets...he's just a one-off."

Here's a look at the full conversation:

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