​Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has heaped praise on teammate Lionel Messi, terming the Argentine as the best ever player in football history.

Messi is ​considered by many as the greatest ever football player and over the years, has broken plenty of records. He has also won a record five Ballon D'Or titles, equal with great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rakitic has been teammates with the 30 year old since joining Barcelona in 2014 and he has now lauded Messi as the best player in the history of the game.

Speaking to Spanish outlet Antena 3, as reported by ​Goal, the Croatian midfielder said, "He's the reference. Our game depends a lot on him. He doesn't need to talk to understand, a gesture is enough. He is the best in history, capable of turning the game around in a second. He is shy because he knows that everyone is watching him."

​Rakitic has been a huge success at Barcelona after moving from Sevilla and he revealed that Messi helped him settle when he first joined the club in the summer of 2014.

"He was one of the first to support me when I arrived and I was wondering if I needed something. He is a different person from the others," the Croatian added.

Rakitic and Messi have been integral for Barcelona this season as they aim to win the treble in Ernesto Valverde's first season in charge. The Catalans are next in action against Eibar before the Champions League tie against Chelsea next week.