Luis Enrique Hits Back At Chiellini ~ 'Messi Could Score That Goal Anywhere'

The Barcelona boss has responded to the Juventus defender’s comments about the Argentine and discussed Paul Pogba’s return to fitness

Luis Enrique feels Lionel Messi would be able to replicate his first goal in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against teams from any league in the world.

The Argentina international evaded three Athletic Bilbao players before opening the scoring in stunning fashion during the 3-1 victory at Camp Nou.

Ahead of the Champions League final against Juventus this weekend, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini suggested Messi would struggle to score such a goal in Serie A.

However, the Barca boss told reporters: “I think he can do it in any circumstances, in any league in the world.

“Messi is the best player in world, in history probably. Messi, since he [came to Barca] has adapted to a way of playing that benefits him.

“His team-mates are of the highest quality and he has been playing from early on with players who enjoy the game.

“They are not so physical but they play the ball, this is the idea we have here and I’m sure it has contributed to his success.

“He is the best in world but his environment is extremely beneficial for him.”

Saturday’s final in Berlin will also see Chiellini come up against Luis Suarez for the first time since the infamous biting incident at the World Cup last year.

Luis Enrique played down any suggestions he would need to talk to Suarez about it, saying it is an incident which belongs firmly in the past.

The coach said: “We have spoken only about the final. Suarez’s story belongs to the history of football – everyone is entitled to make mistakes.”

The former Celta Vigo boss admits he has been obsessing over the showpiece event and warns that Paul Pogba’s return to fitness could prove vital for Juventus.

“It is the most important match and I have not stopped thinking about it,” he said. “We have had a very good Champions League against the champions of England, France, Germany… we are convinced we will play a good game.

“We will try to have the ball but at some point we can use the space. We have to play well with the ball and without the ball. It is important to have different options.

“Football depends on the decisions of each coach. There will always be surprises by the coaches. Then there is the performance of the players and the ability to change things in the game.

“Pogba had an injury but has returned, he is a major player, one of the best.

“Everything worries me about Juve. I’m interested that Pirlo hasn’t played that much. They have improved playing the ball out from the back, they have players who can hurt us. Alvaro Morata has given them more quality and goals this year.”

Luis Enrique’s future remains the subject of speculation but the former Spain international says he has not yet made a decision.

“My future does not depend on the final of the Champions League. It’s not decided yet,” he added.

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