Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has described star striker Lionel Messi as the `best player in the world` at any position, after the Argentine talisman struck a record-breaking hat-trick to guide Barcelona to a spectacular 7-0 win over Celtic in their Champion League clash on Tuesday.
Messi, who scored the 40th hat-trick of his career, also became the first player to score three goals in a game for the sixth time in Europe’s top competition.
“He plays everywhere because he has freedom. If you play him as a six, an eight or a 10, he’s the best in the world. It wouldn’t be clever to curtail that, to put limits on him,” the Barcelona boss was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Labelling Messi as the embodiment of total football, Enrique said his versatility across the pitch makes him the best in the history of the sport.
“That’s why he’s the best player of all time, without a doubt – for his numbers and his footballing vision. He is total football,” he insisted.
Enrique also hailed the Spanish giants’ overall performance, saying that his side displayed a spectacular performance and did not make any mistakes throughout the game unlike their shocking 2-1 La Liga defeat at the hands of Alaves.
“We were very good positionally during the match and we recovered the ball very quickly. That helped everyone to have fun, the players, the coaches and the fans, who deserve it the most,” he added.
With the hat trick, Messi has also extended his goal scoring tally to 86 in Europe’s top-tier competition.
The emphatic victory also saw Barca surpass their biggest win in the Champions League to date, a 7-1 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.