Messi bagged a hat-trick and set up Neymar to score as Barca claimed a convincing victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
In an eventful encounter, City had goalkeeper Claudio Bravo sent off, Jeremy Mathieu saw red for Barca and Neymar missed a penalty but Nolito had no doubt as to who was the most decisive figure.
“Messi is the best player in the world so he makes the difference,” he told City’s official website.
“When he gets the ball, he always does something, a goal or an assist.”
City were only trailing 1-0 when Bravo was sent off and Barca took advantage to secure a comfortable three points.
Nolito felt that the scoreline was harsh on his team, arguing: “We played well in the first half. We had our chances but, in the second half, we were unlucky.
“This is football. We need to keep going. [This] was a very hard game against Barca but we did not deserve to lose 4-0.”
Pep Guardiola’s men are now winless in four in all competitions ahead of hosting Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
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