'Genius' Messi still amazes Valverde

Despite now being in his second season coaching Lionel Messi, Ernesto Valverde continues to be surprised by the Barcelona star's brilliance.

Lionel Messi celebrates a goal with his Barcelona team-mates   -  Getty Images

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde feels football supporters should consider themselves fortunate to have been able to witness Lionel Messi's extraordinary performances.

The 31-year-old Argentina international, who is likely to be considered one of the greatest players ever when he calls time on his glittering career, struck twice as Barca overcame a stubborn Deportivo Alaves side in a LaLiga match at Camp Nou on Saturday.

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The opener was an opportunistic effort from a free-kick cleverly rolled under the opposition wall, and which happened to be Barca's 6,000th goal in the history of Spain's top flight.

"Messi is a genius. We're lucky to be able to see him every day. We're lucky to be involved in football during the era in which he is playing -- we want him to pull a rabbit from the hat every day," Valverde told a news conference, adding, "There's still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you -- he never ceases to amaze me, honestly. You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees."

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