Lionel Messi Would Be The World’s Best Defender, Insists Barcelona Manager

Barcelona’s manager, Luis Enrique, has revealed that Lionel Messi would be the best defender in the world if he wanted to be.

Messi is widely regarded to be the most dangerous attacking talent in the world, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. After the Argentinian forward assisted two goals for his Brazilian teammate Neymar against Atletico Bilbao, Luis Enrique sung his praises.

“If he wanted to be the best defender around he would be,” the former Barcelona midfielder explained. “He does things that people couldn’t do on a Playstation video game console.”

Meanwhile, despite Messi’s talents, Hernan Crespo, who played up front for Argentina for a number of years, has now declared that you can’t compare the mercurial forward to Maradona. Argentina fans often debate if Messi is as talented as the legendary former Napoli player, but Crespo thinks that is unfair.

“You cannot compare players from different eras,” he explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “When I was on the pitch myself, I was being marked by Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Lilian Thuram… See what I mean? Some people fall into the trap of wanting at all costs to compare Messi to Maradona. But you’ve got to be joking — Messi is extraordinary, but you cannot describe Maradona’s ability in words.”

Luis Enrique also made sure to praise one of Barcelona’s unsung players. Sergio Busquets is the defensive midfielder who helps to build up Barcelona’s attacking play.

“Sergio Busquets’ tactical intelligence, how he interprets the pressure,” he explained. “He’s a key player for us and the best in the world in his position. To be a team that wins titles you must have a good attack and a defensive phase, to be a complete team. Sometimes you can play too long and others you can have possession. Getting the right balance isn’t always easy. A team is formed to unite different personalities and profiles of players.”

Enrique then added that he is very pleased with his extremely talented squad, “I’m happy with what I have. I won’t explain why whoever plays to the players and I won’t do it here. We always hope to have the best version of each player. Any individual thing is easy to achieve but overall, the coordination of everything, means many hours of training. We do what we can, with and without the ball.”

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