Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique believes Lionel Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or proves he is the greatest player of all time.
Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to the prize, announced during Monday’s gala, while Enrique won the Coach’s award but didn’t attend, and declined to reveal why when speaking to the Press to preview Barca’s Copa del Rey tie with Espanyol.
“I’m very pleased [to win the Coach’s award]. It’s a reward for the work of all the players, the club, the staff. I’m grateful to those who voted for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend,” he said, AS reports.
“Where will I keep it? I don’t know yet. They haven’t given it to me.”
Enrique moved on to Messi, who received the votes of much of those responding, the national team captains, Coaches and Press representatives.
“It’s a great joy, although we could already guess who would win for everything he did last season,” Enrique said of Messi’s success.
“It’s a clear recognition of the best player of all time. Others like Neymar are beginning to be recognised worldwide. I also think there are many players in my team that deserve to be there.
“Leo has the capacity to interpret the game and be indispensable in any position. He’s a total player. I have no doubt he could play anywhere and play well.”
Barca had a number of players named in the FIFPro World XI but Sergio Busquets wasn’t one of them, Lucho suggesting the midfielder should have been included but acknowledging there were only so many places.
“There are a lot of players from my team who, after an incredible year, aren’t recognised,” he argued.
“But I also understand that there are other great players who deserve to be voted.”