Lionel Messi named two coaches who impressed him at Barcelona
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi revealed the men who he considered to have been the best coaches during his 17 years at Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old highlighted Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Spain coach Luis Enrique as the best coaches he’s worked with in Catalunya. The Argentine stressed how ‘”lucky” he was to have both men serve as his mentors.
Both coaches are highly respected within the sport for their tactical intelligence and trophy haul over the past few years. Guardiola took charge of the Blaugrana from 2008-2012 and won 14 major honours at the club cementing Messi and Barcelona as a force to be reckoned with.
Enrique meanwhile took charge of his former club in 2014 after the late Tito Vilanova and Gerardo Martino’s short spells. The now Spanish national coach led his side to a treble of Champions League, league and Copa del Rey trophies in his first season and lasted until 2017.
In 105 league appearances under Luis Enrique, Messi scored 106 goals at a rate of every 84.29 minutes on average. He also provided 43 assists and created a total of 251 chances.
Although Barcelona and Messi have enjoyed success since the departures of either coach, they have failed to hit the tremendous heights achieved under both managers.
Messi affirmed how important both managers were to his own development at the club.
“Pep has something special, he makes you see things in a [different] way,” said the Argentine captain.
“How he prepared the matches, defensively, how to attack, he told you exactly where the game was, how you had to attack to win.
“I was lucky that I had a lot of time with Guardiola and Luis Enrique, the two best. Having them [for so long] made me grow a lot in football and in the tactical wisdom that they taught me.”
Messi recently led Barca to a 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid on Tuesday, which saw him surpass Pele’s record of 643 goals for one club side in the process.
The Blaugrana are next in action on December 29th when they host Eibar in La Liga.