Former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert has claimed that Lionel Messi “needs” Cristiano Ronaldo to ensure he maintains his sky-high standards.
Speaking to AS, the 39-year-old – who is currently in charge of his motherland Curacao – also discussed his hopes of becoming Barca Coach one day, his relationship with Louis van Gaal and joy at seeing his ex-teammate enjoy success in management.
“My dream is to be Barca Coach someday. It's something that's still quite afar, but who knows,” he began.
“Joining Barcelona was one of the easiest decisions of my life.
“[On his relationship with Louis van Gaal], Ajax once tried to sign Ronaldo, but he ended up at PSV.
“I remember Van Gaal said something like, “if nothing else happens, Patrick is our Ronaldo”.
“[Messi and I] just about crossed paths [given that I left in 2004 and he emerged at that time].
“Messi has given another dimension to football, but I think he needs Cristiano [Ronaldo] nearby in his life; a figure to keep him competing and ensuring he always gives his best.
“Both are of the highest level and well ahead of the others.
“Of course [I always expected Luis Enrique to become a Coach]. He was a leader on the pitch and loved football.
“Those were the two qualities that made me think he had the desire to be a Coach.
“It's somewhat similar to what happened to [Pep] Guardiola. Luis Enrique did a good job with Celta Vigo and always showed [his coaching instincts] as a player.”