FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has revealed what five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi does in each and every game in a bid to analyse his opponents, and it is incredible!
Messi, who has scored the most goals across Europe's top five leagues, with 25 strikes in 24 LaLiga matches, thus far in the campaign, helped his side secure successive victories over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the space of four days last week.
Often spotted at walking pace during clashes, Valverde has explained why the club's record goalscorer seemingly ignores the ball at the beginning of games.
"Messi reserves the first minutes of each match for interpretation," Valverde told the Irish Times.
"During that time, he ignores the ball and takes a walk around the opposition defence, fixing each man's position in his head.
"Then, as the game advances, he gets in little by little. But by now he knows perfectly where the rivals' weaknesses are."
Messi, who is the player with the most El Clasico goals (26) ever, has made 34 appearances across all competitions for Barca so far this season, finding the back of the net on 33 occasions and being on hand to assist a further 18 strikes.
Do you consider Messi to be the greatest footballer in the world? If not, who is? Have your say in the comments section below.