Enrique hails Messi as ‘best player of all time’ after Celtic win

Luis Enrique reckons Lionel Messi is the “best player of all time” after he scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 7-0 demolition of Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Messi dazzled against the Scottish champions as he became the first player to score a hat-trick for the sixth time in the Champions League.

During his breathtaking performance, Messi also managed to win the free-kick for Neymar to put Barca 3-0 up and provide an assist for Luis Suarez late in the game.

“He plays everywhere because he has freedom,” Luis Enrique said afterwards. “If you play him as a six, an eight or a 10, he’s the best in the world. It wouldn’t be clever to curtail that, to put limits on him.

“That’s why he’s the best player of all time, without a doubt – for his numbers and his footballing vision. He is total football.”

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele had an opportunity to make it 1-1 from the spot but the Frenchman’s kick was saved by Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen in the Barca net – and Enrique thought his side were in control thereafter.

“We didn’t make any mistakes throughout the game, apart from one little one in the first half, where we conceded a penalty. Then the matter was settled,” Enrique continued.

“It was spectacular from the start. We saw the team and all the fans having fun. It’s a good welcome to the Champions League.

“We were very good positionally during the match and we recovered the ball very quickly. That helped everyone to have fun, the players, the coaches and the fans, who deserve it the most.

“We have the fortune of having some fantastic players and they get better with every training session and every match. They’re so good with the quality they have, they find solutions when supposedly there’s no way through.”