La Liga: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi 'sees things that others don't on the pitch'

Barcelona: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has heaped praise on Lionel Messi's start to the Liga season after the Argentine bounced back from a disappointing World Cup with two goals against Alaves.

La Liga: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi sees things that others dont on the pitch

File image of Barcelona's Lionel Messi. AP

Messi sent an audacious second-half free-kick under the jumping wall and into the net for the opener, and Barca's 6,000th La Liga goal, at the Camp Nou on Saturday before slotting in his second in injury-time after Philippe Coutinho had also scored in the 3-0 win.

"With Messi, you can expect absolutely anything," Valverde said. "He sees things that others don't see on the pitch.

"Sometimes we get too used to seeing it, he does things like he did today and we want him to pull a rabbit of the hat every time.

"He's a genius and we're lucky to be able to see him play every day."

Messi has been left out of Argentina's squad for the first post-World Cup friendlies following reports that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner asked to be excused from the four games.

He was unable to prevent a shambolic Argentina side from being knocked out of the World Cup in the last 16 stage in a 4-3 defeat to eventual winners France.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Aug 19, 2018 21:41:59 IST

Also See