Former Chelsea defender David Luiz has praised Lionel Messi by saying that he is the best player ever.
Luiz came up against Messi in the Champions League group stages. Even though Messi was largely subdued in the first match between Paris St Germain and Barcelona in Paris, he had a huge say in the 3-1 victory for the Catalan club at the Camp Nou. This victory ultimately resulted in Barcelona topping the group. Even though this has not helped them get an easy match in the last 16 stage where they will be phasing Manchester City, the Spanish club at least have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.
Luiz became the world’s most expensive defender after his £ 50 million move to Paris in the summer. He was one of the scorers in the first match between the two this season. However, the central defender could not prevent Messi from dominating the match at the Camp Nou. Messi is not in the running for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award this year. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Thomas Müller are seen as the favourites for the title. However,Luiz believes that he has seen enough of Messi to suggest that the Argentine is the best player in the history of the game.
“It’s the efficiency that made the difference.They were better than us; they have three huge forwards. Messi is fantastic, the best player ever.Barca also have a smart head coach and other great players.We will now think about the next step. The next game will be difficult. We’ll have to beat everybody to go all the way. In February we could play anyone,” said Luiz after losing the crucial group match. PSG could have won the group if they had held on for a draw after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s equaliser.
There is no arguing the fact that Gerardo Martino’s time in charge of Barcelona was one of the worst periods of time for the Spanish club as they could not clinch a single major trophy in the entire season and they had to watch how Real Madrid and Athletic Madrid claimed all their targets.
RealMadridwent on to win the Champions League and Copa del Rey while Athletic Madrid managed to squeeze past everyone in the Spanish League and lift the league title.
That underwhelming season finished with Gerardo Martino being sacked and replaced by Luis Enrique. Gerardo Martino is now the head coach ofArgentinabut he has recently revealed a few details concerning what it was like to manage a club likeBarcelonaand specially coaching a superstar player like Lionel Messi.
Many coaches would be more than happy to be in charge of high profile players such as Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo but Gerardo Martino said that the job has its disadvantages too as he is always under being critiqued despite what happens in the pitch.
The former coach ofBarcelona, Gerardo Martino told the media: “When you get the chance to coach a footballer like Leo it’s very difficult to be exempt from comments and rumors. In our time together atBarcelona, it was said he was saving himself for the World Cup. But in La Liga he scored about 30 goals. There were always questions about Leo, if he scored three goals then why had he scored three goals? If he scored one, then why had he only scored one? And if didn’t score at all, it was the same.”
Gerardo Martino just couldn’t fully understand how to utilize Lionel Messi in a team and this is one of the main reasons on why he was so heavily critiqued during his tenure atCampNoubut now that he was selected as the head coach ofArgentina, Martino and Messi will be once more working alongside each other.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric says that the club’s decision to bring in the likes of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez for close to £ 100 million shows the ambition after having just won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. Madrid defeated Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final last season to lift the trophy. However, the biggest achievement for the team came in the form of the Champions League trophy, which was the 10th in the history of the club. Considering that they have been waiting for more than decade for this title, it was celebrated with a lot of joy.
However, focus has shifted to the next season and Madrid have strengthened the team even more by bringing in World Cup stars Kroos and Rodriguez. Both these players excelled at the World Cup 2014 with Germany and Colombia respectively. Kroos was responsible for Germany’s win in the competition after playing a starring role in the midfield, while Rodriguez finished as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals. Kroos has signed from Bayern Munich for £ 25 million, while Rodriguez comes from Monaco for around £ 65 million.
The club’s decision to splash out on these two big names is a sign of the ambition according to Modric, who is expected to remain a key part of the Madrid team.
“First, on a personal level, I hope to have a healthy year and avoid injury. Last year we had a great season. I hope we can repeat it and do even better [next year]. We have new players on the team – very, very good players. Expectations are always high at Real Madrid and I expect the same from the team and myself. I saw them [Kroos and Rodriguez] play in the World Cup and, for me, they were two of the best players in the competition,” said Modric.