That’s the verdict of Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague, who says the 30-year-old is developing even at this stage of his career.

Messi has once again played a vital role as Barcelona have pursued glory on domestic and European fronts this season.

And his goal at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago means Ernesto Valverde’s men have a slight advantage going into tonight’s second leg at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona will be hoping Messi comes to the fore once again as they target another La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey treble.

And Balague says the ever-improving Argentine has a track record for delivering the goods when it counts.

"Lionel Messi is growing as player, not just as a goalscorer, and he understands what is required in every part of the pitch and every stage of the game," he wrote for Sky Sports.

"The Argentina international has appeared when he is needed this season, especially in the big games, so the Catalans have a strong chance of progressing.”

Lionel Messi Barcelona Juventus Champions League

Lionel Messi will be hoping to fire Barcelona past Chelsea and into the Champions League last eight

Lionel Messi Barcelona La Liga

Lionel Messi has scored four goals in seven Champions League appearances this season

Balague isn’t entirely ruling out Chelsea’s chances of making the Champions League quarter-finals though.

"However, Chelsea will have their moments, and it remains to be seen whether they take it," he added.

Barcelona and Chelsea drew 2-2 the last time they faced off at the Nou Camp.

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