Ernesto Valverde believes Barcelona are ‘infinitely lucky’ to have Lionel Messi after he scored two free kicks in a 4-0 win at Espanyol.
“We’re infinitely lucky to enjoy him like we do,” the Coach said after Saturday’s Derbi.
“A player like him is irreplaceable. I never know the words to describe Messi. I think it’s awesome that he’s with us, that he keeps scoring free kicks.
“It’s remarkable that he didn’t go up for individual prizes. I don’t know if it affects him, but he already has so many awards from years gone by.
“It was an important match for what it meant, how the League is at the moment and given how strong Espanyol are, especially at home.
“It was an important test and we did very well, especially in the first half. We pressed their players well and played with a lot of clarity.
“We created chances and the goals came. They then took more risks because they had to score and maybe we lacked some sustained possession, so we had to defend deeper.
“We’re happy about not giving much away and recording a second straight clean sheet. We have to keep going like this.
“They had the intention of drowning us out a bit at the start, but Rakitic and Busquets read them very well and we won a couple of balls that, with the players we have in the final third, ended up being decisive.
“It’s hard to win here and we didn’t last season. Our idea was to always have possession of the ball and we won comfortably, so we’re happy.
“Still, there’s a lot of League left so the distances aren’t important at this stage. We’ll see how we line up.
“We’ll do what’s best for the game and in accordance with our needs. What I can say is that we’ll go out to win. You can reassure your Inter friends of that.”