Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted that Barcelona “can only live without Lionel Messi for a few weeks”.
The Catalans were without the No 10 for two months earlier in the season, but the President insists his club would not have been able to manage if their star faced a longer spell on the sidelines.
“First it was Johan Cruyff, initially as a player and then Coach, then Ronaldinho, who made us smile again, and finally Leo Messi,” he said at an annual conference in Dubai.
“For me, [Messi] is the best player, not only in the world but throughout the history of football. We can only live without Leo for a few weeks.
“La Masia not only teaches you how to play football, but it also educates you and teaches you the values of sacrifice, humility and hard work.
“For us, playing good football is as important as our youngsters’ education.”