Lionel Messi has given an insight into what he thinks about recent criticism of Mason Mount – after naming the Chelsea ace as one of his 15 stars of the future.
Mount has come in for some stick recently as the debate has raged over whether he or Jack Grealish should start for England, with some fans suggesting the Chelsea midfielder receives preferential treatment.
Aston Villa skipper Grealish himself described his Three Lions team-mate as "underrated" and "an absolutely terrific player", while West Ham midfielder Declan Rice said criticism of his pal was Mount "harsh".
And the world's best player Messi has added considerable weight to the England stars' comments by saying Mount can be "one of the best".
Barcelona ace Messi was asked to name 15 prodigies who he believes can be the future of the game, for a Topps ‘Lionel Messi-Designed Set’ card pack.
And along with 21-year-old Mount, he named Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden.
Messi said of Mount: "Having watched him play he has the potential to be one of the best."
The Argentine superstar claimed Foden has "huge talent" and "will do amazing things in the game", and hailed Alexander-Arnold for being "impressive going forward".
He said of Sancho: "His ability to dribble past defenders is impressive."
The England quartet join the likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Moussa Dembele, Luka Jovic, Joao Felix, Kylian Mbappe and Hassim Aouar as Messi's ones to watch.
He also included Barcelona team-mate Frenkie de Jong, hailing him as "One of the most accomplished passers I have ever seen for his age".
And there were places in his 15 for defenders Eder Militao of Real Madrid, and Joshua Kimmich and Benjamin Pavard, both of Bayern Munich.
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