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Messi a class above all season says Enrique


MADRID, Spain, January 19 – Barcelona boss Luis Enrique hailed Lionel Messi’s consistent brilliance this season after the Argentine took his tally to 28 goals in 27 games with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win away to Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday.

Messi and Enrique’s relationship has reportedly been frosty since the four-time World Player of the Year had been left on the bench for his side’s 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad earlier this month.

However, Enrique has repeatedly insisted Messi remains the best player in the world and refused suggestions he has taken his form to another level over the past week with another stellar performance after vanquishing La Liga champions Atletico Madrid last weekend with a goal and two assists.

“Messi has been at an extraordinarily high level all season,” said Enrique, despite reports of a dressing room rift between the two in recent weeks.

“He hasn’t dipped at any point. He has been world class.”

Victory brought Barca back to within a point of league leaders Real Madrid and continued their positive response to an institutional crisis that enveloped the club following the Sociedad defeat.

However, Enrique is still looking for further improvements if the Catalans are to continue their pursuit of honours on three fronts this season.

“Winning is good for the players’ confidence but there are still many things to improve, both in attack and defence.

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“We still need to improve in both areas because that is the only way to challenge for all the titles.”

One of the reported reasons for the dressing room discontent with Enrique has been his much criticised rotation policy.

The 44-year-old named a different line-up for the 29th consecutive game, but maintained the same 11 that started against Atletico last weekend.

However, he refused to admit he had bowed to pressure from his players for a more settled side.

“I am not faithful to one single manner of doing things. I played the 11 I think will work best.

“We will be stronger the more players we have contributing to the cause.”

And Barca’s captain on the day Andres Iniesta backed his coach’s intention to keep all his players heavily involved throughout the campaign.

“I don’t think the rotations are bad, that way we all feel useful and important,” said the Spanish international.

“It also makes sure we are in a good situation to get to the end of all the competitions in better condition.

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“In the end what matters is what the coach says and we have to execute it in the best way possible.”

Barca’s attention now turns to another meeting with Atletico in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie on Wednesday.

“We have an exciting few weeks ahead of us, but it is a very intense and tough tie against a difficult opponent in Atletico. We need to be at our best without committing errors.”

Click to comment


  1. Jim Kones

    January 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Why should the civil society read the ruling partly and not wholly? Didn,t the judge rule  that  the suspects are innocent until proven guilty? So why the calls of resignation if the guys are innocent?

    • Aluko

      January 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Have you ever asked yourself why murder suspects and people charged with robbery with violence in Kenya are locked up, (even though they are innocent until proven guilty), until they cases are determined? Once judges rule that you have a case to answer, you transition from being a suspect to being accused and at this stage one is supposed to resign. Hon. Ruto was suspended when the court ruled that he had a case to answer in his Ngong forest corruption case. Hon. Henry Koskey did the same. Justice Nancy Baraza will do the same soon and there is nothing special about Uhuru and Mathaura.

      • geofry

        January 24, 2012 at 4:48 am

        So the ICC Judges were wrong to say they are “fully innocent”?

        • Mtetezi

          January 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

          Martha Karua for president…… The only man/woman who has ever walked away on a dictator (shaking it) and resigned from the government rather than taint her name with corruption.

    • Aptbks

      January 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      jim, try raping sm1, or torching sm1s hse, or whatever else u might want to attempt, n let the police identify u if u wont be locked in for the duration of the trial,,,,… why do u think others should be innocent when an international justice system has proven they hv a case to answer? pls b realistic

  2. Aptbks

    January 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    innocent? my foot. these people are suspects, n the best i know, suspects belongs in police custody, some cells. but now that the icc are yet to try them , n they are too big for our remands, or cells, the least we are asking is that they step aside,…… or is set aside,… whichever.

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