Luis Enrique believes Lionel Messi “can still be the best at 40” ahead of Barcelona’s trip to Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.
Enrique was responding to speculation that Barca were willing to extend Messi’s contract until 2022 next season, thus keeping him at the club until he is 35, and he felt the Argentine could go one better and play for another five years.
“He’s able to win both [the Pichichi and 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or], but I only see him focused on achieving things in general terms,” he said at a Press conference.
“That’s what makes me optimistic [about him]. When the team’s objective are achieved, then you can aspire for individual ones.
“In that sense, the players are intelligent and focused on achieving the team’s goals.
“[On whether Luis Suarez is more focused on the Pichichi after three games without a goal], I see Suarez focusing on all our objectives for trophies and wanting to make history with Barca.
“Messi will be the world’s best player for as long as he wants, but age affects everyone.
“I’d like to think he can still be the best at 40, but I have no scientific proof to say so.
“I’m a Coach, and a pretty good one at that, but I’m not a magician or soothsayer.
“[On IFAB approving video technology], we have to see how it develops and how many times it can stop a game, but for anything which helps referees and benefits football, so be it.
“If technology is present in all walks of life, why can’t it be in football?”