Ernesto Valverde: Lionel Messi always makes the difference for Barcelona

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde joined the queue to praise skipper Lionel Messi following their 5-1 win at home to Real Valladolid.

Messi scored two and set up two, as La Blaugrana returned to the top of the La Liga table, and his manager joined team mates Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets to hailing the Argentina international.

"I do not know what I can say about Messi.

"We always know that he will be there when we need him.

"He always makes the important difference at the right time.

"His talent is incomparable to anyone else in football."

Valverde also confirmed that he is pleased with the progress of Ansu Fati, and he will continue as a first team player this season, with Carles Perez and Carles Alena also staying in the squad.

Barcelona now have a two point lead over shock second place side Granada, with Real Madrid set to play their game in hand against city rivals Leganes.

The Catalans can secure their Champions League knockout progress, with four points from their next two games, at home to Slavia Prague and Inter Milan in the coming weeks.

Tags Ernesto Valverde Lionel Messi