Spain and Barcelona legend Carles Puyol feels that Argentine striker Lionel Messi will play three or four years at the highest level if he does not pick any injury.
Messi (Barcelona) recently broke Pele's record of registering the most number of goals for a single club. The striker recorded his 644th strike for Barcelona, surpassing Pele's record of 643 goals for Santos.
"He is now 33 years old and takes care of himself. He is motivated and eager, and I think he has three or four years to go at this level if he is lucky enough to not have any major injuries and if he continues playing with the same desire to improve and keep winning, with that motivation. I think we still have Leo for a while," Goal.com quoted Puyol as saying.
Reflecting on what has allowed Messi to keep performing at such a high level for the best part of 15 years, Puyol said: "I am sure that talent is not enough. Talent is needed, of course, but also work and dedication, a desire to learn and be motivated to seek new challenges every day. We have seen it in Messi.
"He is not the same player today as he was when he started. He has been adding records and improving, he is a very complete player who can set the rhythm of the game, score free kicks, goals, give assists. He does practically everything!" he added.
Puyol said that Messi has transformed his game over the years and became a 'more impressive player'.
"In the beginning he was very good, but one of those players who you give the ball and he does his individual move. He made the difference and scored goals. He was already very good [at a young age], but over the years he has become an even more impressive player, the best of all time," he said.
Puyol was in the Barcelona team when Messi made his first-team debut in LaLiga as a substitute against Espanyol in October 2004 and the former defender recalled his early impressions of the attacker after he came through La Masia.