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Lionel Messi News: “Enjoy him while he’s still playing” rival coach advises

1.22K   //    05 Apr 2019, 10:16 IST

Barcelona talisman - Lionel Messi
Barcelona talisman - Lionel Messi

What's The Story?

According to Marca, Espanyol head coach Rubi has advised Barcelona fans to cherish their talisman Lionel Messi for as long as he is playing football for La Blaugrana. Rubi was in the dugout when he saw Messi put his Espanyol team to the sword with another magical display.

In Case You Didn't Know...

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored two fantastic goals in a 2-0 win against Espanyol in the Catalonian derby last weekend to take Barcelona eight points clear at the top of the La Liga table.

Espanyol did quite a commendable job by keeping Barcelona at bay for the major part of 70 minutes at the Camp Nou but the deadlock was broken by Lionel Messi when he chipped in a wonderful free-kick on 71 minutes. The 31-year-old sealed the game with two minutes left on the clock with another wonderful finish to earn three more valuable points for his side.

Messi earned the applause of the Real Betis fans a couple of weeks ago after a superb display at the Benito Villamarin and this time received the praise from Espanyol manager Rubi for his game-changing ability.

The Heart Of The Matter

The 49-year-old has advised the Barcelona faithful to cherish their captain for as long as he is playing. While speaking to reporters after his side succumbed to two Lionel Messi goals in a feisty derby, Rubi went on to admit that we are privileged to have the opportunity to watch Messi. He said,

“I advise you to enjoy Messi while he is still playing. He is a very unique player and, when he is not playing, you notice it. I was fortunate to watch him for a year as a coach”

Rubi also explained that he was content with Espanyol's defensive display at the Camp Nou but having conceded the free-kick that Messi scored from was a pity,

”The defensive part of the game plan went perfectly but, in attack, things did not go how I would have liked, We knew it would not be easy to have the ball here. It is very tough with a backline of four because they can easily play in-behind. The free-kick (for 1-0) was a pity”

What's Next?

Messi scored another sensational free kick against Villarreal recently by coming off the bench to spark a late dramatic comeback for Barcelona in a game that ended 4-4. Barcelona now face a crunch game against Atletico Madrid in a few days while a two-legged tie against Manchester United in the quarterfinals of the Champions League awaits.