Lenglet applauds Messi leadership on and off the pitch

Clement Lenglet is a new arrival at Barcelona, but he has already been struck by the leadership qualities of Lionel Messi.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Lionel Messi is a great captain because he leads by example on the pitch and inspires off the field with words of wisdom, according to Barcelona team-mate Clement Lenglet.

Messi became captain following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

But after three successive La Liga matches without a win, some have criticised Barca for having a lack of leadership on the pitch, particularly in the 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday when Messi started on the bench.

His introduction in the second half lifted Barca and he ultimately set Munir El Haddadi up for a late equaliser, but before Messi entered the pitch, Ernesto Valverde's men looked alarmingly devoid of ideas.

Wednesday's Champions League trip to Tottenham is the start of a tricky run of fixtures, which will also see Barca face Valencia, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Inter twice before the end of November, but Lenglet believes in Messi the team has a fine leader to follow.

"He is a leader on the pitch with his extraordinary qualities, but also off the pitch with his experience and his speeches," Lenglet, a new arrival from Sevilla, told France Football.

"He does not express himself often, but when he does so, everyone listens to him. He's always relevant and his [words] resonate with you."

Lenglet is likely to start at Wembley as Samuel Umtiti will serve a one-match ban following his sending off against PSV.

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