Ranking the 5 greatest managers who coached Lionel Messi


#3 Ernesto Valverde | Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B
FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

The Spanish manager struggled on the domestic front with Barcelona having consecutively lost two Spanish Super Cup El Clasicos. But like Rijkaard, Ernesto Valverde soon found the team's form.

Soon enough, Lionel Messi's goalscoring led the side to casually pick up unbeaten runs in all competitions, season after season. Valverde also led Messi and Blaugrana to a domestic double, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

🎙#Messi “Valverde was a great person and a great coach. The defeat against Atlético was tough, because we controlled that game. Everything happened in 5 minutes” #WeAreMessi

Messi's individual awards under Valverde's tutelage were also innumerable. The star attacker picked up his sixth Ballon d'Or and a total of four Golden Boots in Spain and across Europe.

Lionel Messi notably scored a brilliant 112 goals in just 124 appearances for Ernesto Valverde. This cemented the manager's spot as one of the Argentine's best ever coaches.

#2 Luis Enrique | Barcelona

FC Barcelona vs Deportivo Alaves - Copa Del Rey Final
FC Barcelona vs Deportivo Alaves - Copa Del Rey Final

Luis Enrique was the genius who guided Barcelona through a tactical shift. He moved the Blaugrana from their famed tiki-taka to a deadly counter-attacking fluidity. This saw Lionel Messi score 153 goals in only 158 appearances.

Most notably, Messi himself named Luis Enrique as one of the best coaches he has ever worked with, citing the tactical genius as his mentor.

Luis Enrique drove the Barcelona train to an astonishing feat in 2015, with the side winning a highly coveted treble. Numerous trophies flowed into the team, thanks to Enrique's brilliance in the dugouts. Barcelona picked up a trophy in nearly every tournament they participated in.

Lionel Messi won his record fifth Ballon d'Or during this period, alongside numerous other individual awards, thanks to Enrique's mentorship.

#1 Josep Guardiola | Barcelona

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - Liga BBVA
FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - Liga BBVA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not like the current Manchester City coach, but Lionel Messi certainly loved him. Pep Guardiola is arguably one of the most successful coaches in the history of football. He made a key tactical change to slot Messi into a central striker's position.

This negatively affected Ibrahimovic, but Messi flourished dramatically, playing as a false nine and seeking deeper positions from his striker role.

🎙Pep Guardiola on dealing with Lionel Messi 🐐 “It’s so difficult. Sometimes when he has the ball, you don’t know what to do - not even he knows. I am so happy he is still playing and the level he plays and the quality”

It comes as no surprise that Lionel Messi scored 211 goals in just 219 appearances under Guardiola's watch. It's also no surprise that the Argentine magician picked up an astonishing three Ballon d'Ors while Guardiola coached Barcelona.

The team, built around Messi's wizardry, won a historic treble alongside many other trophies. Most popularly, Lionel Messi scored a ridiculous 73 goals in Guardiola's final season at the Camp Nou.

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Edited by Aditya Singh

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