Gary Neville: 'Lionel Messi redefines greatness'

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his team's second against Celta Vigo on March 30, 2013
© AP Photos
Gary Neville feels that Lionel Messi has redefined greatness for Barcelona following his substitute appearance in the Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Gary Neville feels that Lionel Messi redefined greatness after his substitute appearance led to Barcelona overcoming Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Liga leaders were trailing 3-2 on aggregate and 1-0 on the night at Camp Nou before Messi's introduction from the bench after 65 minutes led to him claiming an assist for Pedro to take Tito Vilanova's side through to the semi-finals.

Messi was named as a substitute due to an injury he sustained in the first leg at Parc des Princes and Neville thinks that the player's impact puts the four-time Ballon d'Or winner beyond compare in world football.

"For me, greatness was redefined on Wednesday night. I would say a player who can change an entire stadium and turn a match around simply by walking on to a pitch redefines greatness," Neville wrote in his column in the Mail on Sunday.

"You put Messi into that team and you're transforming a very good team into the greatest team of all time.

"It was felt as though something spiritual had happened. You really had to be in that stadium on Wednesday night to appreciate the magnitude of Lionel Messi and the impact he can have."

Barca meet newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the semis of the competition with the other tie pitting Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona's Pedro celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain on April 10, 2013
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1AlavesAlaves00000000
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
4Barcelona00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
7EibarEibar00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10GironaGirona00000000
11Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
12Leganes00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000