Ajax manager Frank De Boer has stated that although Lionel Messi is one of the best players in the world, he should have listened to Barcelona coach Luis Enrique’s instructions.
Earlier, reports in Spain suggested that the 27-year-old refused to get substituted after Enrique wanted to replace him in the second half during the La Liga game against Eibar. Instead, Neymar, who was on a yellow card, had to come off to give way for the youngster Munir El Haddadi.
De Boer believes Messi should listen to his coach
And De Boer believes that even a player of his stature cannot ignore his coach’s instructions.
“He is the best in the world and will be for many more years," he said.
"Leo also has great experience so he knows how he is physically. but when the coach says one thing, you have to listen."
De Boer, of course, spent four years lining out alongside Luis Enrique during their respective playing careers and the former defender still holds his old Barca team-mate in the highest esteem.
"He was one of the captains of the team, a fighter, a winner and an athlete who always gave 200 per cent," was the appraisal from the former Ajax captain. "He was an example to follow."
The Dutchman believes Ajax can get a good result against Barca
Ajax take on the La Liga leaders in their Champions League group stage encounter on Tuesday at the Camp Nou. Although Barcelona have maintained a perfect start to their domestic season, they were defeated 3-2 by Paris Saint German in their last fixture. That has made De Boer confident that his side can get a positive result against Messi and co.
"We can get a result in this game," the Dutchman said.
"We saw last year that we can get something from such games. But for that we have to perform at our maximum.
"Barcelona are of a higher level compared to us and have more experience.
"For every team playing here it is difficult to collect points - but we will try."