Lionel Messi admits England’s four contenders in the Champions League pose the biggest threat to Barcelona in this season’s competition.

The Catalan giants avoided any of the English sides in the quarter-finals draw after being paired with German outfit Schalke.

Messi is a big fan of Premier League football and he is confirmed admirer of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The diminutive playmaker acknowledges United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will be Barca’s biggest rivals for Europe’s premier competition.

Special players”Manchester United and Milan are very good; Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka are great players who I watch a lot,” Messi told the Sky Sports Magazine “The other top English teams – Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool – are capable of success too, because they have special players like Cesc Fabregas, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres.

“The best Premier League clubs also have the experience of doing well in the Champions League.”

Messi has been rated as the best player in the world, but the 20-year-old says that title belongs to much-maligined Barca team-mate Ronaldinho.

“I’m reluctant to name names, because Barca is about being a team – but I consider Ronaldinho to be the world’s best player,” added Messi.