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Messi lauds Ozil and Van Persie

ESPN staff
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Lionel Messi has lauded Dutch duo Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, singling out the Manchester United forward in particular as a "total footballer".

The Barcelona talisman told Dutch paper De Telegraaf that Van Persie and Bayern Munich's Robben were two of the players he most admires, along with Mesut Ozil of Arsenal and Germany.

"Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are two great players," Messi said. "Ozil is for me Germany's best player, he is first class, very creative. Van Persie is a total footballer, a very complete forward and capable of scoring lots of goals. Robben also has class, but is more predictable. He can dribble the ball at speed and leave many players behind."

The Argentina captain also repeated recent claims that he was happy his Portugal counterpart and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo would be at next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.

"Of course I am happy that Cristiano is going to the World Cup," Messi said. "The best teams should be there, because if you want to be the best you must beat every country. I believe it is good for the World Cup for Cristiano to go, he is a great player. Now everyone is talking about how well he is playing, but he has been playing like that for many years, for his club and country."

Messi is currently sidelined for the rest of 2013 as he recovers from a run of niggling thigh injuries, and says he hopes to be back fully fit and ready to go for Barcelona's first game after La Liga's winter break.

"This season things are not going so well for me, but after Christmas, when the worst period of the season comes, I hope to be ready," he said.

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