'Genius' Messi still amazes Valverde
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde feels football supporters should consider themselves fortunate to have been able to witness Lionel Messi's extraordinary performances.
The 31-year-old Argentina international, who is likely to be considered one of the greatest players ever when he calls time on his glittering career, struck twice as Barca overcame a stubborn Deportivo Alaves side in a LaLiga match at Camp Nou on Saturday.
The opener was an opportunistic effort from a free-kick cleverly rolled under the opposition wall, and which happened to be Barca's 6,000th goal in the history of Spain's top flight.
"Messi is a genius," Valverde told a news conference.
"We're lucky to be able to see him every day.
"We're lucky to be involved in football during the era in which he is playing -- we want him to pull a rabbit from the hat every day.
"There's still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you -- he never ceases to amaze me, honestly.
"You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees."