Hamburg midfielder Alen Halilovic has hailed Lionel Messi’s humble attitude and says the Argentine is hugely popular in the Barcelona dressing room.
The Croatia international teamed up with Messi after joining Barcelona from Dinamo Zagreb in 2014 and he has nothing but fond memories of his time alongside the prolific attacker.
“Leo is an incredibly nice guy. He is always willing to help, very polite and down to earth,” Halilovic told Bild.
“Everybody in the team likes him and not just because he is such a great player.
“I really like the way Messi plays. I have learned a few things from him. I love to take on my direct opponent and play a risky pass. I always try to focus on my own game and to just do my job.”
Halilovic left Barcelona for Hamburg last month and admits the intensity of pre-season at the Bundesliga side has not been easy after two years in Spain.
“Barcelona are the best team in the world. They have the best players around and have won it all,” he added.
“But to be honest, I have never had a pre-season as tough as here at HSV. It is impossible to imagine training three times a day in Spain.”
Barcelona have the option to re-sign the 20-year-old Halilovic for €10million during the next two seasons.