FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde championed the ‘incredible impact’ Lionel Messi has had at Barcelona ahead of his 600th appearance for the club against Sevilla.
Lionel Messi is in line to make his 600th cap for the Catalan outfit in Saturday’s La Liga game against Sevilla and an astonied Ernesto Valverde construing he has “come up short on adjective for him”. : “600 games at one club is crazy. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Messi’s career.”
The 30-year-old made his first appearances for the club in October 2004 and has since gone ahead to end up plainly one of the best players ever. The Argentine is the club’s record-breaking top scorer with 523 goals in all competition – his first goal coming against Albacete in May 2005.
As he looks set to achieve 600 appearances on Saturday, Messi will without a doubt have one eye on Xavi’s club record of 767.
Ernesto Valverde was quick to bring up that the sheer quality Messi has displayed over his 599 games up to this point makes the accomplishment all more astonishing.
“That’s extraordinary,” Valverde told a news conference on Friday. “To do that for the same club and scoring the goals he does, getting the assists he gets and showing the brilliance he has is crazy – we’ve run out of adjectives for him.
“It shows how important he is to this club. I don’t know if there will ever be anyone like him.
“It’s not just the number [that is so impressive] – it’s what those games have been like.”
The signs are good for Lionel Messi and Barcelona on Saturday, with the Argentinian scoring 29 goals in 20 games against the Andalusians, making them his most favored club to score against.
Valverde is sure that Eduardo Berizzo led side will give a stern test, having won their last three games in all competitions to subdue a droop in form.
“He [Berizzo] has a good record versus Barca. He got good results with Celta [Vigo] and he tends to go into the game looking to win.
“He likes his team to take the initiative. It’s a dangerous game. They want to try to turn around their situation, maybe play aggressive and stop us from getting the ball out of defense.
“It will be hard for us to have the possession as we like and he’s doing the right thing.
While Messi gets a large portion of the plaudits for breaking barriers and smashing goals in the net, Barca perhaps has not gotten the acknowledgment they merit for their defensive robustness this season – conceding just three goals in 10 league games.
Be that as it may, Valverde was eager to applaud goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his ‘Incredible impact’ also.
He added: “When goalkeepers make mistakes it is very clear, evident, and even when they aren’t making errors they still get blamed.
“But we have to praise everything he [Ter Stegen] has done, but not just in goal, but also for helping our style of play at the back.”