Outspoken Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has compared Australian rugby union star Matt Giteau to Barcelona icon Lionel Messi.
Boudjellal likened the Wallabies playmaker to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner after Toulon unveiled former All Blacks star Ma’a Nonu.
Nonu’s arrival will provide competition at Toulon but Boudjellal insisted Giteau, who helped the French giants complete a three-peat of European Rugby Champions Cups this year, is virtually untouchable in the number 12 spot.
“If you look at Toulon’s statistics with and without Matt Giteau, they’re not the same,” Boudjellal said.
“It’s like comparing Barcelona’s statistics with and without Lionel Messi.”
Giteau is a 102-cap veteran on the international stage for Australia, who reached the Rugby World Cup final last month.
Argentina captain Messi has amassed 105 appearances and scored 49 goals, having guided the South American nation to runner-up finishes at the World Cup (2014) and Copa America (2007 and 2015).