Lionel Messi is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best footballer the world has ever seen. Sure, others before him were dominant in their respective eras, but the utterly brilliant consistency that Messi has demonstrated since making his professional debut in 2004 is simply unparallelled -- as exemplified by his 467 goals in 542 appearances for Barca and, more importantly, the 29 collective titles the Blaugranas have added during his time at the Camp Nou.
Messi's career reached unprecedented heights during the Pep Guardiola era, playing as a revolutionary False 9 that rival defences could do very little to defend against. The 211 goals scored in just 219 matches under Guardiola's guidance (or, in other words, 0.963 goals per game) were thought to be the pinnacle of his career.
Despite early disagreements with Luis Enrique, it must be noted that Messi has in fact improved his goalscoring average since the Asturian took charge at Barcelona back in the summer of 2014 -- currently, 113 goals in 117 games or a 0.965 goalscoring average.
Kudos to Luis Enrique for getting the best out of his players despite the constant criticism he continues to attract despite having lead Barca to the second best spell of titles in over a hundred years of history.
Here are Messi's goalscoring numbers in Barcelona:
Many thought that the arrival of Neymar and Luis Suarez would turn Messi into a more associative player who would move further away from goal as years progressed. While that transition is certainly ongoing, it is encouraging to see the Argentina star has not lost his lethal instincts in front of goal.
Looking forward to more and better in the future, Messi!
What do you think about Messi's progression under Luis Enrique? In your opinion, who is the best manager that Messi has played under in Barcelona? Tell me about your thoughts in the comments below.