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Europe's press sing Messi's praises

The European papers are calling Lionel Messi a "football god" after his five goals in the 7-1 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen. "Arrest him!" says one as UEFA.com wraps up the reaction.

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Leverkusen at the Camp Nou
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Leverkusen at the Camp Nou ©AFP/Getty Images

The hand of Messi (scoring five goals in Spain is known as 'a hand')
AS, Spain
The 75,632 spectators who witnessed it live can say "I was there" in the same way as the people who saw basketball player Wilt Chamberlain score 100 points in one game, Mohammed Ali knock out Sonny Liston or saw long jumper Bob Beamon fly in Mexico. They all witnessed something sublime. Messi scored five goals in a Champions League match. This season, he scored four against Valencia and two seasons ago he registered four against Arsenal in the Champions League. Yesterday he went one better.

Hurricane Messi
El País, Spain
We have to be grateful to Messi because he always wants to play – he does not distinguish between friendly or competitive matches, easy or difficult, important or trivial, and does not accept that the game is over, regardless of whether he is fit, cold or hot, whether he is at home or away, and if it is Wednesday or Saturday. No one demands more of Messi than Messi himself, who makes every show a spectacle.

Football god Messi! 
Bild, Germany
His five goals made Leverkusen look ridiculous. This 169cm man was five goals too big for Leverkusen. Lionel Messi dismantled the fifth best side in the Bundesliga in the Champions League round of last 16. A debacle for Leverkusen, a pleasure for all football fans.

Five legendary goals
Corriere dello Sport
Messi is an alien compared to the rest, he just requires a success with Argentina to be there on the same level with the player also known as 'D10s'.

Magician Messi on a roll at Nou Camp
De Telegraaf, Netherlands 
Lionel Messi was majestic again for Barcelona on Wednesday evening. The diminutive Argentinian was scoring at will in the round of 16 Champions League return. Messi became the first player ever to score five goals in a Champions League match. Bayer Leverkusen became the latest victim of football's miniature magician.

Stratospheric Messi
L'Équipe, France

Bayer's players Manuel Friedrich and Michal Kadlec had an argument at the interval in the first leg as to who would get to swap shirts with Lionel Messi. On Wednesday, they might have been tempted to get him to pose with them for a photo in the middle of the action as the Argentinian seemed in a class of his own, trouncing his German opponents 7-1. A deft shot (1-0, 25 minutes), a curl (2-0, 42), a chip (3-0, 54): all of the usual and nevertheless fabulous art of Messi was on show.

Arrest him!
SportDay, Greece
As long as Lionel Messi is allowed to walk around free, things like this will happen. The Argentinian superstar made fun of Leverkusen, scoring five goals in Barcelona's 7-1 dismissal of the Germans to rewrite the history books. He was once again unstoppable and became the first player ever to score five goals in a UEFA Champions League match.

Messi masterclass rewrites record books
Telegraph, England
Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in one Champions League game last night and moved to within seven goals of becoming the highest goalscorer in Barcelona's history at the age of just 24. In keeping with the extraordinary nature of his record-breaking career the player had complained of a headache before the one-man demolition of the team that just four days earlier had beaten Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

The endless collection of Messi wonders has one more rarity
Público, Portugal
What is there left to write about Lionel Messi? The Argentinian player never stops surprising and at Camp Nou he sank the team fifth in the Bundesliga.

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