Luis Enrique lavish more praise on Lionel Messi after the Argentine’s brace in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Valencia on Sunday took him past 40 goals on LaLiga for the eighth consecutive season.
Barca was desperate for a victory to keep the pressure on Real Madrid after handing the initiative to their rivals following last weekend’s surprise defeat at Deportivo La Coruna.
Messi scored from the penalty spot at the end of the first half and gets a double in the second half, firing home from inside the area after receiving the ball from Javier Mascherano.
Luis Suarez had before evened out for Barca, who fell behind to an Eliaquim Mangala header, with the Manchester City loanee been sent off for a second yellow card for pulling down the Uruguayan inside the territory.
The Moroccan international Munir El Haddadi, who is on loan at Valencia from Barcelona, had then made it 2-2, but Messi and after that Andre Gomes’ first goal for Barcelona sealed the crunchy encounter.
“Amazing,” Luis Enrique said in his postmatch news conference when asked to once again put into words just how special Messi is.
“He’s broken all of the records and he will keep on breaking them. What a wonder to be able to enjoy him.
“His numbers are out of everyone’s reach. Messi’s numbers are impossible for anyone who is not him. We will miss them in the future.”
Enrique was likewise cheerful to see Andres Iniesta discover his form again after a season which has seen him battle with series of injuries.
This was the first run through which Iniesta had finished an hour and a half in a league game since the start of January and there had been doubts about his place in the side since the Luis Enrique’s 3-4-3 formation.
“It’s not a fixed thing,” Luis Enrique added of his side’s new system and Iniesta’s involvement.
“I’m sure we’ll return to 4-3-3 at times but I think that 3-4-3 gives us some interesting variables. We could use different formations, too.
“That Andres is playing well is something to enjoy. Due to injuries, he has missed a lot of games this season and now we can see the best Andres again. Now I hope he enjoys himself with the national team returns in top condition.”