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‘If football were a religion, Messi might be God’ – Braithwaite admits to being in awe of Barcelona superstar

The Blaugrana’s newest signing has talked up the talents of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner ahead of this weekend’s crucial Clasico encounter

Martin Braithwaite has described Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as a footballing god, insisting “nobody can do things he does” on the pitch.

Braithwaite is still adjusting to life at Camp Nou after his suprise €18 million (£15m/$20m) move from Leganes on February 20.

Barca were granted permission by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to sign the 28-year-old outside of the transfer window having lost Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to long-term injuries.

The Spanish champions recieved widespread criticism for bringing in the Denmark striker due to his lack of experience at the highest level, but he performed well on his debut against Eibar last weekend.

Braithwaite came on as a subsitute during the 5-0 win at Camp Nou, and linked up to great effect with Messi, who helped himself to four goals on the day.

The ex-Leganes star insisted he would not wash his clothes “after receiving Messi’s hugs” during the contest, and has now heaped more praise upon the Argentine superstar ahead of Sunday’s La Liga showdown against Real Madrid.

“Nobody can do things he does,” Braithwaite told Barca’s official website. “If football were a religion, Messi might be God.

“He controls the match. He is an extraordinary player.”

Braithwaite added on his excitement ahead of his first Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu: “It will be a magnificent experience. It is the most important game, and everyone follows it.

“There will be a lot of intensity, and I have a lot to win from playing in this game.”

The forward went on to describe his emotions after linking up with his new team-mates at Camp Nou, admitting the swift nature of his move from Leganes to Barca came as a suprise.

“My first training session with Barcelona was incredible,” he said. “Out of nothing, from being at Leganes I was suddenly here. But it felt very natural.”

Barca hold a two point lead over Madrid in the La Liga standings at the moment, and will hope to heap more misery on their rivals after a nightmare week which has seen them suffer defeats against Levante and Manchester City.

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