Lionel Messi Turns Up on Bleacher Report Hangout in Show Celebrating His Genius

Lionel Messi made a special guest appearance on our Bleacher Report Google+ Hangout. The Argentina and Barcelona star turned up as a selection of our columnists discussed the forward's incredible career so far.

Messi, 26, turned up on the show the day after his stunning finish against Manchester City helped seal Barcelona's progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.

After a few technical glitches, Messi was on hand to say a few words, which were translated by Bleacher Report columnist and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.

Messi had a particular word of thanks to express to another B/R columnist, Stan Collymore, for the support he has received in the U.K. 

"It's not easy to defend Leo when Cristiano Ronaldo [is so well-loved] in England," said Balague. "We may not have seen for a while the talent Leo has—now we've seen it I think it's universal he's the best."

Messi also revealed a signed Argentina shirt, which we are giving away to a lucky reader. You can enter that competition by clicking here.

Messi's presence on the show added another dimension to the discussion on his place in history and the nature of his genius with Collymore, B/R La Liga specialists Samuel Marsden and Paul Wilkes, WhoScored.com's Jenny Brown and YouTubers Mark Upson and Cole Pettum.

"We got closer to him—a lot closer to him—than Joleon Lescott did last night," joked host and Bleacher Report global sport manager Will Tidey as the Argentine departed.  

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