FINALS WATCH: Dieng a big Messi fan

AP News
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Posted: Apr 05, 2013 1:47 PM
FINALS WATCH: Dieng a big Messi fan

ATLANTA (AP) — Lionel Messi has a big fan in Gorgui Dieng.

Emphasis on the big.

Louisville's 6-11 center grew up in Senegal, and soccer was his first love. Though basketball is Dieng's game now, he still loves soccer.

And Messi.

"He's the best soccer player I've ever seen in my life!" Dieng said.

Messi has been FIFA's Player of the Year each of the last four seasons, and he's making a case for another win this season. He's scored 57 times already this season for Barcelona, including a goal in Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Asked who his favorite team was, Dieng said, "Of course, Senegal." When asked his favorite club team, Dieng just laughed.

"I'll show you my Barcelona jersey," he said. "I'm a fan."

— Nancy Armour — http://twitter.com/@nrarmour

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