Valdano: Messi defines Barcelona era

Former Real Madrid general manager Jorge Valdano believes Barcelona are in the era of Lionel Messi, not Pep Guardiola or Luis Enrique.

The former Argentina international insists Messi is the key component of the Catalan club’s recent success, not either of their treble-winning coaches.

“It simply has one name – it is called Messi,” Valdano told Mundo Deportivo, when he was asked what defines the current Barca side.

Messi has won 26 major trophies with Barcelona, but is yet to inspire Argentina to a senior international little, finishing as a runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been compared to national hero Diego Maradona throughout his career and Valdo shared his thoughts on why Messi is yet to achieve similar glory on the international stage.

“Barca knows how to use Messi, the entire team is able to able to shape the play so Messi can take part in it,” he explained.

“In Argentina, however, some move too much, others do not know that you have to give it to Messi even when he’s marked. Therefore, in the national team his contributions are lower.”