Former Tottenham Hotspur striker, Gary Lineker, has heaped praise on ​Barcelona ace, Lionel Messi, ahead of the blockbuster Champions League clash between the two ambitious Group B outfits.

Lineker, who played for both Barcelona and Spurs, expects a close contest and has tipped Messi to play a key role. 

In an interview with Barca TV, Lineker said: "He is the best player to ever put on a pair of boots. It's as if he sees the game from afar, at the same time as he is playing. He is not human," as quoted by Marca

"He never rises to provocation, and he is a great example to both the world of football and to every young person who plays the sport." 

Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde, has faced a lot of criticism over his side's style of play. The Catalans have failed to bag a win in their last three fixtures and are in dire need for some positivity. Lineker, however, believes this team have plenty to offer and are well-equipped to do well. 

"They have a squad that combines youth and experience, which is key in the competition, and a coach who has brought consistency to the group," he concluded.