New Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan called team-mate Lionel Messi "a miracle from God" after the Turkey international captain made his protracted debut for the treble winners.
Turkish newspaper Sabah (h/t ESPNFC.com) reported the former Atletico Madrid star's quote about Messi after the Argentina icon netted a hat-trick for Barca in a 4-0 win against Granada in La Liga on Saturday.
"I have never seen anyone like Leo Messi," Turan said. "He is a miracle from God. I like it when he does his things on the field. It's not jealousy—I feel good, for instance, when he nutmegs someone."
Turan signed for the Blaugrana in the summer but had to wait until January to make his debut for the club after the Catalan team's player-registration ban, as reported by Reuters (via MailOnline.)
The attacker immediately linked with Messi to break the deadlock for the Camp Nou giants, as Turan split the opposition defence with a clinical pass after eight minutes.
The moment of chemistry was captured on YouTube:
The Argentinian skipper completed his hat-trick in 58 minutes, as the club's lethal MSN trinity of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar ran riot, comprehensively earning the victory.
BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker humorously tipped his hat towards Messi's achievement on Saturday:
Messi has scored his first hat-trick of 2016. Shocked it took him so long.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 9, 2016
Turan also explained to Sabah why he opted to leave Atleti and said manager Luis Enrique's desire to acquire his services was important, but he regrets not winning the Champions League with his former club:
Luis Enrique wanted me at Barcelona because of my ability to hold on to the ball, my desire for winning and hard work.
He told me that these are the reasons he wanted me. I will show everyone on the pitch why he wanted me at this team.
My only regret is not winning the Champions League when we were so close in 2014 [losing to Real Madrid after extra time].
We were only a minute and 20 seconds away from it. I tried so hard to be able to play in that final but I couldn't, despite all the injections and treatments.
The 28-year-old was a pivotal member of the Atletico first team, starting 38 games in La Liga and the Champions League last term, according to WhoScored.com.
Will Turan be a good replacement for Pedro?
Turan is the perfect addition to Barca, filling the spot vacated by Pedro, who departed for Chelsea in the summer transfer window.
The player has the attributes Enrique needs to achieve a better balance at the Blaugrana, and Turan will also allow the team's trinity to operate with fewer defensive duties.
Turan is a hardworking individual and vastly experienced in La Liga, and he will prove to be a vital member of the squad as Barca chase yet another treble success in 2016.