Luis Enrique paid tribute to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi ahead of his 300th La Liga appearance, describing the forward as “from a different galaxy.”
The Argentina captain has been the flag bearer for Barcelona for the best part of the past decade, scoring an incredible 266 Liga goals — a record in Spain’s top tier. Messi, widely recognized as one of the top two players of his generation alongside Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, has won six league titles, two Copa del Rey trophies and three UEFA Champions League medals during his time at Camp Nou.
And Barca coach Luis Enrique credited Messi’s ability to stay on top despite the high level of modern football.
“Leo Messi’s stats are from a different galaxy, not just in how he scores but the way he supplies assists,” he said ahead of Barca’s home Liga clash with Levante on Sunday. “Also, the titles, he was won individually and as a team, I think football is evolving towards a greater psychological and technical development. There’s less space now, Messi has no space or time and it is much more difficult — players needs to be much better developed. It’s much harder to score goals in modern football.”
Messi’s recent form has been top notch — the forward has 11 goals in 10 appearances across all competitions in 2015. It remains to be seen whether Messi will play against Levante, though, with Luis Enrique contemplating resting him and fellow stars Neymar and Luis Suarez amid a busy schedule.
“I’ll think about what we want, but I think it’s a privilege to get four or five attacking players at such a high level,” he added. “I want them all to be in good condition.”