Lionel Messi joins Johan Cruyff as the second footballer to receive this prestigious award

Lionel Messi will today receive The Cross of Sant Jordi

Lionel Messi will today receive The Cross of Sant Jordi for his contributions to FC Barcelona and Catalunya.

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The Cross of Sant Jordi is one of the highest civil distinctions awarded in Catalonia.

The Argentine becomes just the second footballer to win the award along with Johan Cruyff in 2006.

His Fundación Leo Messi and contributions to Barca is the reason behind him becoming a recipient of the award.

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The 31-year-old has spent his whole career at the Nou Camp and has helped them to win 33 major trophies.

Speaking about Messi, Generalitat de Catalunya said:

“[Messi] is recognised as the best football player of all time.

“[He embodies] social attributes as primordial as humility, honesty, learning, creativity, sense of team and respect.”

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Champions League: Barcelona vs Liverpool

Lionel Messi & David De Gea

BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 16: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal as David De Gea of Manchester United reacts during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp Nou on April 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Barcelona host Liverpool at the Nou Camp in the Champions League semi-final this evening.

Both sides have proven to be arguably Europe’s two best teams this season – making this a mouthwatering tie.

The most fascinating battle of the night is set to take place between Messi and PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutch defender has been a sensation for the Reds this season but faces a huge task in defending the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Read more Barcelona news here:

FC Barcelona vs Liverpool live streaming: Watch online, preview, prediction and odds

Liverpool blow: Roberto Firmino will not play tonight vs Barcelona

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