Former FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique revealed he did not need to tell Lionel Messi much about his individual game as he was already an “artist” and that he would only speak to him about tactics and formations when the duo worked together at the club between 2014-’17.
Enrique, now coach of the Spanish national team, enjoyed huge success with Messi at Barcelona where they won nine trophies together in three years, including the Champions League and two La Liga crowns.
When asked during a question and answer session organised by the Spain national team, Enrique revealed how he trained Messi.“There is a little bit of everything [in Messi],” Enrique said.
“I cannot tell him how to dribble or how to pass or shoot because he is an artist at those things and it’s clear that we don’t have to advise him on these topics. But things relating to the systems we use, situations or things as a more general level that benefit us, for sure we tell him.
The former Barcelona striker added: “How to create pressure in a certain way, where do we want the ball, what spaces on the pitch should he be taking up to try to receive the ball...we tried to influence him regarding all those things.”
Enrique also revealed that the six-time Ballon d’Or was the best player he had coached in his managerial career and that only midfielder Andres Iniesta came close to matching Messi’s talent.
“The player that impressed me most in my career, I don’t know if you mean being myself as a player or as a coach or both, without doubt is Leo Messi,” he said.
“Afterwards, I can say that Andres Iniesta is close to something similar to Leo Messi. But Messi is hugely different in respect to the others.”