Luis Enrique hailed Lionel Messi after Barcelona claimed the Supercopa de Espana, describing him as ‘the essence of football.’
Messi scored the third goal of the 3-0 second leg win, Arda Turan claiming the other two, and the Coach praised the team as a whole but waxed lyrical about the Argentine.
“He will be a spark all his life. He creates incredible situations. If you put him at full-back he would be the best in the world. Messi is the essence of football and age won’t harm him because when he’s missing the physical, he’ll substitute it for his intelligence,” Enrique said, AS reports.
“I’m very happy and satisfied with what I saw on the pitch, for the participation of the players entering the dynamic. Sevilla were good, especially in the beginning. They pressed, created problems and perhaps deserved a goal, other than the penalty. But Claudio Bravo did very well. Arda’s goal meant they didn’t get into the game. I’m very happy with everything, apart from Javier Mascherano’s injury. Will Bravo play against Real Betis? The medics will decide that.
“The feeling I have is that in order to cope with such a long season and with the objectives we have, I can’t count on 11 players but 22 or 23. We have to be in a collective manner. So we are stronger, we can get out of difficult times, demand the maximum and that is the way of the club for years and we have more resources.
“Arda has been reunited with the goal. He isn’t a scorer but he’s a player who can score. He’s scored and he’s happy. He can play in several positions and I’m happy with his performance personally and with the whole team.
“Samuel Umtiti? He hasn’t surprised me at all. I know him and I’ve followed him and I saw the same when he was 22 and was captain. He has a lot of credibility, uses the ball well, he’s aggressive. But this is Barca. He’s started at a high level but Barca demands a lot and he has to be given tranquillity, though he’s in the best place and the new players have adapted very quickly.”