When you’ve got two of the greatest footballers of all-time on your books, it feels rude to not bring them together. That’s what Adidas did recently, when they arranged for Lionel Messi to spend some time with Zinedine Zidane.

They each fall on opposing sides of the eternal divide that is Real Madrid and Barcelona, but both are forever linked through their brand affinity. Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi are without question two of the greatest players to have ever played the game, a point exemplified by the fact that they are the only two players in football history to have scored and won the Man of the Match award in both the UEFA Champions League and the World Cup finals. The only sad thing is that they were never able to play together – what a sight that would have been. Despite that, adidas brought their two stars together for a candid chat in Miami, where there was nothing but the utmost respect on display.

Zidane to Messi: "You see things before anyone else. I was one second ahead of the rest, you are three seconds ahead of the rest. And therefore, for me, that's what makes you different from the rest of the players.

The two superstars sit back, relax and explore topics close to their hearts, from family to football, highlighting monumental memories like scoring in a World Cup final – something only a handful of athletes in the world can attest to.

Both players became synonymous with the number 10 throughout their careers, and in this conversation they  go about uncovering the essence of the iconic number 10, a symbol of beauty and uniqueness in the world of football.

At one point, both legends are asked to use three words to describe the other. 'Zizou' did not hesitate: "It's just one word: 'Magic'. Because in the end, what I mean is Leoand I are not together every day. So today is an important day for me because I can tell him how much I admire him. All the people who like football and these people are different. And I think it's magic, pure magic. Magic in the sense. Before receiving the ball, he already knew what needed to be done. And especially for me, as someone who understands football. Watching you on the field, I almost knew what you were going to do, you know? It was like a connection. But when I see him doing what he does, I just go like, 'That's it'."

Messi was similarly full of praise for his opposite number. I'm not saying this because he is here, I’ve said it several times before,” he began. “I think he is one of the greatest players in history. I've always admired and liked him a lot. I followed him a lot in Madrid and he made me suffer because I was from Barcelona. I remember those times in Madrid, the ‘Galacticos’ the Euros you won. He’s always been a different player: elegant, artistic, magic – he had it all.

I have a lot of memories of him, I remember the goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final, the goal he scored with his left leg, the goals he scored at the World Cup, the typical ‘roulette move’. There’s a play in Valencia where you end up finishing with your left, these are the things that those of us who love football enjoyed. I enjoyed it a lot even though it was difficult for me as a Barcelona fan!

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The interview ends with the pair exchanging shirts – Zidane handing over his last-ever international shirt, and Messi passing across his 2022 World Cup shirt. A fitting end to a mighty meeting.