The 40-year-old Cameroonian striker had the opportunity to play alongside the Argentine magician, from his emergence in Barca's senior team up to the point when he left the Camp Nou in 2009 for Inter Milan.
So, when the former Chelsea star spoke to Patrick Vieira about the Barcelona legend before he played against him, he wasn't messing around.
Speaking in the Take the Ball, Pass the
Ball documentary, Eto'o recalled what he told the Arsenal hero before
he stepped onto the pitch with Messi in the 2005 Joan Gamper Trophy match.
"I told him one day it would seem like every player who came before Messi was playing a different sport," he said.
Vieira probably came to believe the hype after he saw the man himself in action.
There is no denying that then-Juve manager Fabio Capello did, who was blown away by the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"In my entire life, I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the 'heavy' shirt of one of the world's great clubs," he said.
"That guy can do whatever he wants with the ball. It's impressive winning a world youth title this summer, but this was outstanding -- this was playing with men, not against kids his own age."
According to Barcelona's website, the 75-year-old Italian manager said that he has "never seen a player of such quality."
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