The Argentine maestro was again the architect as the Catalan giants beat the Gunners 3-1 in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg to safely progress to the quarter-finals with a 5-1 aggregate triumph.
While Arsenal were given some semblance of hope when Mohamed Elneny struck early in the second half, ultimately it was Messi's quality, married with the capabilities of fellow forwards Luis Suarez and Neymar, that did the damage.
"We created plenty of dangerous situations where we couldn't take the chances we created, but I must say Barcelona's accuracy in the final third and the quality of the creativity, especially Messi, is absolutely exceptional," he said.
"You go through 90 minutes and you come out of a game, he didn't miss one first touch.
"At some stage in our sport you have to admire art and they have two or three players who transform normal life into art. I respect that.
"Of course, for me it's suffering but for a guy who just loves football, it's exceptional."