New FC Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique, has hailed Lionel Messi following his brace against Elche in the club’s season opener.
Despite a red card for Javier Mascherano before half-time, Messi helped his side to a comfortable 3-0 win at Camp Nou.
“What can I say? I have always maintained, and it was in evident tonight, that Messi is the best in the world in every aspect,” Enrique said after the game.
“If he wanted to be a defender, he’d be the best in the world at that too. He’ll always be the best in the world as long as he wants to be.
“He’s waving his magic wand and will continue to do so for as long as he wants.”
Enrique confirmed the red card made the game more difficult, but Messi’s brilliant early season form helped to secure the victory, while he also confirmed Xavi is not yet fit enough to help the side.
“The sending off complicated the match and the team had to drop a little deeper. With the side we’ve got and Messi in such a wonderful state of form it all worked out,” he added.
“I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m sure that like all of the others, he will have a key part to play. I’m delighted with Xavi’s conduct, he wasn’t in the perfect conditions to have played today.”
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