Barca's Messi and skipper Iniesta pose with the Copa del Rey title after their side defeated Alaves at Madrid on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Barcelona fans have many more years to enjoy Lionel Messi, assured outgoing coach Luis Enrique after the Argentine handed his boss a successful send-off in a 3-1 Copa del Rey final win over Alaves on Saturday.
Messi opened the scoring and helped set up goals from Neymar and Paco Alcacer just before half-time as Alaves slumped to defeat in their first Spanish Cup final despite Theo Hernandez’s stunning free-kick to level at 1-1. "He is extraordinary, an extraterrestrial," Enrique said of Messi after he lifted his 30th trophy at Barca a month ahead of his 30th birthday.
"To be the number one you don’t just have to be the chosen one in all technical aspects of the game, but you have to be very strong physically. Leo Messi is a very strong player. He takes care of himself as much as he can. He has a change of pace which he will maintain. Messi will be around for a while to come," he added.
Victory saw Enrique seal a ninth title of a largely successful three-year spell in charge despite missing out on La Liga and the Champions League this season. However, he insisted he had no regrets over his decision to not renew his expiring contract.
"I am the one who decided it was best to stop and it has worked out perfectly. I think it has for the players too. As I understand, this profession is of the highest demands with a daily grind.
3 No. of consecutive Spanish Cup titles Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has won. He becomes the first manager to do so since Slovak coach Ferdinand Daucik in 1953
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