Ernesto Valverde was almost lost for words when it came to describing the performance of Lionel Messi following’s Barcelona’s 0-5 win over Levante in La Liga..
After a slightly unconvincing start to the game, Barcelona soon took charge of proceedings thanks in no small part to Messi who had a hand in all five goals on the night – netting a hat-trick and providing two assists for Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.
On the night where Messi became the first player to score 50 goals for club and country in 2018, his manager struggled to accurately articulate just how impressive he was.
“I don’t know how to label him. I don’t know how to answer the most repeated question,” he said, via Goal. “He’s the one who makes us play, who gives us amazing goals. We just have to enjoy him.”
Last season Barcelona were defeated 5-4 by Levante and Valverde discussed how happy he was to come away with a comfortable victory this time around.
There aren’t any words anymore…
I take it for granted I see him every week. I’m spoilt. I’ve watched him score countless hattricks and every time it’s still breathtaking, it genuinely gives me goosebumps.
— Emma Gabriel-Garcia (@emgabrielgarcia) December 16, 2018
Barcelona were forced to tinker with their setup with Ivan Rakitic filling in at an unfamiliar wing-back role and Valverde revealed that this was due to an injury to Nelson Semedo.
Leo Messi (14) and Luis Suarez (11) have scored more goals combined (25) than Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and 14 other teams in La Liga.
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) December 17, 2018
Valverde added: “The line-up was conditioned by Semedo.
“We thought Nelson was going to play. They are used to a quick counter-attack and we had to control those situations. It cost us in the middle of the pitch, but in the second half we had total control.”