Luis Enrique says he is honoured to be Lionel Messi’s coach at Barcelona. Messi became the top goalscorer in La Liga’s Primera Division history at the weekend, breaking Telmo Zarra’s record with his 253rd goal in just his 289th appearance.
“I have never seen a player like Messi,” said Enrique. “I feel lucky to be his manager. Nobody can be compared to him. He’s one of a kind and we’ll never see anyone like him ever again. We are privileged to have him and be able to watch him.”
Messi, never a showboater or self-publicist, paid tribute to those who helped him achieve the milestone, saying: “When I scored this goal, I couldn’t imagine I could break any record, let alone this one previously held by the great Telmo Zarra.
“I was only able to achieve this because of the support I have had from so many people during my time here and I would like to dedicate this achievement to you all.
“Thanks for always being with me. I would also like to dedicate this to the people who are no longer with us any more. I will never forget you” – a clear reference to former Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who died of cancer in April.
Oscar speeches, aside, Barcelona’s crushing win kept them just two points behind leaders Real Madrid, and the reaction to Messi’s latest masterclass was predictably euphoric.
Adoring fans chanted his name as he was tossed into the air by his team mates before they lined up to give the beaming four-times World Player of the Year a guard of honour as he left the pitch.
And Messi’s feat was front-page news in Spain. “Don’t ever leave, Leo!” was the frontpage headline in Barcelona-based sports daily Sport on Sunday.
253 Goals And Counting!
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has reflected on becoming La Liga’s record goal scorer and thanked everyone who has helped him over the years.
Messi scored a hat-trick as Barca beat Sevilla on Saturday night, his first goal of the evening taking him level with Telmo Zarra’s 251 League goals and his second setting a new record.
The Argentina captain took to Facebook to release a message to mark the occasion, revealing it is an achievement he never thought he would reach.
“When I scored my first League goal, I never imagined I would overcome any records and even less the great Telmo Zarra,” he wrote, AS reports.
“I’ve done it with the support of many people who have helped me over the years. The record is for them. Thanks for having always been with me.
“Also, for those who supported me and are no longer with us. They’re still very present. Thank you everyone!”