Enrique hails Messi after opening day double

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique praised Lionel Messi after the star's brace in their 3-0 win over Elche on Sunday.

Messi, fresh from winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup, showed off his quality again in Luis Enrique's first competitive game in charge of the La Liga giants.

The 44-year-old coach described Messi as a "wizard" and said the Argentina international could succeed in any position.

"I've always said Leo Messi is the best in the world, but not just that, he can be the best in every single aspect," Luis Enrique said.

"If he wants to be the best as a defender he would be the best defender in the world. He has a quality really difficult to see there.

"We already see the things he does here, in the stadium but also in the training sessions where they are even more difficult because in front of him there are players at the same level of him or at least in a very high level as his team-mates are."

Messi opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, cleverly turning on the edge of the area before finishing into the bottom corner.

Reduced to 10 men after Javier Mascherano's red card, Barca doubled their lead early in the second half through Munir El Haddadi's neat finish.

Messi added a third just after the hour-mark, beating three markers before again finding the bottom corner.

Luis Enrique was delighted by his team's ability to execute different attacking moves.

"I am more than pleased. The game had a bit of everything. As we expected from Fran Escriba's team, they were very organised defensively at the beginning, very solid," he said.

"We already knew they were going to be though. We were not able to create chances in the first part of the game, but we got them later on and we had so many ideas to solve the problems, not just Messi.

"He is wonderful and we are pleased to have him, but the team tried to attack in so many different ways."


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