Reuters / Susana Vera Livepic
They don’t get much better than Lionel Messi, according to Barcelona manager Luis Enrique – and at least half of football fans around the world.
Messi was the hero Sunday after leading Barcelona to a 3-2 win over Real Madrid, with his 92nd-minute strike – his second goal of the game – vaulting the visitors past Los Blancos and into first place on goal differential.
Related: El Clasico proves Messi’s reinvention as Barcelona’s trequartista
After the match, Enrique joked that Messi’s dominance isn’t restricted to the pitch, and insisted he’s never witnessed a football player as talented as the Argentine.
“Messi even makes a difference when he’s at home having dinner,” Enrique told reporters, as translated by ESPN FC’s Samuel Marsden.
“He is the best player in the history of the game, and I have seen a lot of football and a lot of videos. He makes the difference and it’s a huge pleasure for all Cules to have him identify as one of us.”
Messi’s winner, which came on the last kick of the match, also happened to represent yet another significant milestone in his illustrious career. According to Enrique, there was no better place or moment for Messi to secure his 500th goal in a Barca shirt.
Related – Watch: Messi scores 500th Barcelona goal to win El Clasico in final seconds
“Messi’s our best player. Just imagine, his 500th goal coming here, a winner in the 92nd minute at the Santiago Bernabeu,” Enrique said. “It’s very nice for Leo and it’s nice for everyone associated with Barca.
“He allowed us to have superiority in midfield. We wanted him on ball as often as possible. It was more difficult in the middle with lots of bodies in there, but he managed to do it for the first goal. It went as we’d hoped.”
The brace brings Messi’s season total to 31 goals in 30 La Liga appearances.
Barcelona will look to remain in the win column during Wednesday’s encounter with Osasuna at the Camp Nou.