"There should be two Ballons d'Or; one for Messi and one for the rest. Since his emergence he has been far above the rest. Wanting to compare the incomparable ends up being a mistake."
That's what Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli said before his side faced Barcelona.
After his side lost 2-1 to Barca this morning (AEDT), he was equally adamant.
"When Messi is up for it, he can't be controlled," Sampaoli said after Barca's number 10 had scored the equaliser and assisted for Luis Suarez's winner.
Sevilla have impressed under Sampaoli, they were in fourth before this match, just three points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid. They are also top of their Champions League group on 10 points after four matches - two points above Juventus.
This morning they put up a valiant fight. But all the determination in the world sometimes cant' stop Messi.
"The difference is that they had Messi and we didn't, they won thanks to him. Barca are one team with Messi and another without him," Sevilla President Jose Castro concluded.
"(He is) the best player in the history of the game," Sevilla striker Vitolo said after the match.
It wasn't only his opponents that impressed, the cast of Game of Thrones was watching at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium and were left in no doubt who rules this kingdom.
As Spanish newspaper Marca wrote "the only throne belongs to Messi."
A Spanish television commentator wondered if he had any limits.
It wasn't just Spanish journalists that were impressed.
When he slot the ball past Sergio Rico to make it 1-1, it was his 500th goal for Barcelona, it was his 51st goal this year.
When he set up Luis Suarez for a one-on-one that the Uruguayan dispatched with class, it was his 32nd assist this year.
He has scored more goals than anyone across club and country and produced more assists in 2016.
Even when he didn't score, like the video below, he was still wowing those watching - and evidently even those playing.
His teammates weren't short of praise either.
"If the Ballon d'Or was actually given to the best player in the world, then Messi would have won it every year since 2009," tweeted Gerard Pique.
"Leo can do everything, in any position. He makes the difference," said Suarez.
He certainly did against Sevilla.