The Red Devils couldn’t deal with the Argentinian, who netted twice in the opening 20 minutes, during the 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp.
Messi’s showing has attracted widespread praise from across the footballing community.
And Solskjaer joined in after the match, heaping praise on the Barcelona ace, who is looking for his fifth Champions League crown this year.
“I have to say Lionel Messi is top quality and he was the difference of course,” the United boss said at full-time.
“At 2-0 straight after it was game over.
“He’s different class, he and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best players of the last decade, everyone agrees on that one. Messi showed his quality.
“We have to aspire to get to that level of Barcelona, we can get there but we have loads of work to do. If we want to get back to Man Utd’s true level, true traditions, we have to challenge Barcelona.
“They were a couple of levels above over the two games. We want to play these games again next year so we have a massive week coming up. There is no point dwelling on what could have been, we have to focus on that week.”
In other Manchester United news this evening:
Barcelona star Messi isn’t just receiving rave reviews from Solskjaer after his performance at the Nou Camp this evening.
BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves claims the Argentinian’s showing tonight was ‘one of the best’ he has ever witnessed.
Meanwhile, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live this evening, ex-United star Robbie Savage has suggested Solskjaer has work to do.
“I learned that the initial re-energisation that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought to this Man Utd squad went on for a while longer than you usually see,” he said.
“But he now has an unenviable task of trying to rebuild this squad.
“It is going to be a transitional period for the club because they have to win titles but they are miles off.”
Barcelona will take on either Liverpool or Porto in the Champions League semi-final in the coming weeks.