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'Messi stages greatest of European escapes'

Last updated on: March 13, 2013 20:17 IST

'It was a victory against all odds and a triumph for football'

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World Player of the Year Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona became the first team to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit without the benefit of an away goal to advance to the last eight 4-2 on aggregate.

Following is a selection of reactions to Barcelona's 4-0 Champions League victory against AC Milan on Tuesday.

- Photos: Messi and Barca make a mockery of the doubters

Gary Lineker, former England and Barcelona forward turned soccer pundit, wrote on Twitter:

"Delighted Barca got through. It was a victory against all odds and a triumph for football.

"Lionel Messi is so utterly brilliant it is beyond belief. I saw a lot of (Diego) Maradona and played against him. Wonderful though he was, Messi is better and so much more consistent.

"Lionel not only has the genius of Diego but is also as prolific a goal-scorer as we have ever seen.

"Only genuine argument is the World Cup. Messi will be the same age next year as Maradona was in 1986. I sense his moment will come."

Image: Barcelona's Lionel Messi (10) is congratulated by team mates Dani Alves (left), Jordi Alba (top) and Andres Iniesta
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters
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'Where did they create this alien? He's not human'

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Marco Materazzi, former Inter Milan and Italy defender, on Twitter:

"Habemus Messi! Where did they create this alien? He's not human."

Madrid-based sports daily Marca:

"Leo, hero again. Messi responded to those who doubted him with a brilliant performance. The most important game of the season came around and Leo Messi did not fail. He had a bad night at the San Siro ... like the rest of his teammates, but last night, with the whole team fired up, Messi was decisive."

German weekly magazine Der Spiegel:

"Gala performance. Barcelona magic sees them through to the quarter-finals. With its 4-0 triumph Barcelona gave an impressive response to critics."

German sports daily Kicker:

"Messi turns Milan ice cold. Barcelona remain among the Champions League favourites. They did not let themselves get derailed after their setback in Milan and are back in the last eight - thank Messi."


Image: Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters
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'Messi stages greatest of European escapes'

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French sports daily L'Equipe:

"No, Barca are not dead. They are more alive than ever. The team that were written off after losing 2-0 at Milan three weeks ago are back to their best."

Britain's Daily Mirror:

"Monster Messi just two good."

Britain's Daily Telegraph:

"Messi stages greatest of European escapes. Of all the statements of their footballing greatness, and that of the unreal Lionel Messi, perhaps this was Barcelona's most emphatic in the modern era."

Britain's Daily Mail:

"The word of the night was 'remontada'. It means comeback. And this was the madre of all remontadas. In Lionel Messi, Barcelona have a player as great as any to have walked the earth. Up there with Pele, with Diego Maradona, with Johan Cruyff or Zinedine Zidane."


Image: Barcelona's Lionel Messi (centre) celebrates victory over AC Milan with teammates Andres Iniesta (left) and Sergio Busquets
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters
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