Thursday, August 17, 2017

Luis Enrique stunned by ´magic´ Messi

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Sep 2014

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique lauded Lionel Messi as “magic” after the Argentinian surpassed 400 career goals in Saturday’s 6-0 Granada rout.

Luis Enrique’s men outclassed the Andalusian side at Camp Nou on Saturday, with Messi netting twice, Ivan Rakitic scoring his second goal for the club and Neymar inspiring with a hat-trick.

In the process of netting his double, Messi moved on to 248 La Liga goals, closing to within three of Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 and taking his overall tally to 401.

Messi also claimed two assists in the resounding win and, following comments from Elche coach Fran Escriba likening Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to former NBA star Michael Jordan, Luis Enrique had his own basketball comparison for Messi.

“It’s like someone touched him with a magic wand,” said the former Celta Vigo coach.

“Looking at the pressure Leo has and how generous he is with his play, it’s something to enjoy.

“If Cristiano is Jordan, then Messi is Wilt Chamberlain, who got 100 points in an NBA game. I’ll take Leo.”

Saturday’s win saw Barcelona bounce back from midweek disappointment, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Malaga.

And, although Luis Enrique acknowledged his side produced a better performance all round against Granada, he does not believe such clashes can be compared with one another.

He added: “It’s impossible to compare two different matches, because it’s not the same playing at home as it is away.

“There’s also the change in the quality of the playing surface, the players aren’t machines and the Camp Nou helps us.

“We’ve done well today, better than in previous games. That’s what we were trying to improve; to attack well and to defend well, you have to be organised.

“When your opponent has the ball, the aim is to make sure they don’t get far with it.

“It’s important to be effective in both the offensive and defensive aspects and our players have a willingness to be better defensively.”

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