The Argentina international struck twice in Sunday's 3-0 win over Elche but his coach was more taken with the No.10's all-round brilliance than his goalscoring exploitsBarcelona boss Luis Enrique says that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world - even when defending.
The 44-year-old coach took charge of the Blaugrana for the first time in La Liga on Sunday night and, despite the dismissal of Javier Mascherano just before the break, Camp Nou was treated to a Messi masterclass.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner scored two fine goals during a 3-0 win over Elche but Luis Enrique was more taken with the Argentine's all-round excellence.
"Messi is the best in the world, even when he is defending," the Barca boss told reporters after the game.
""We see him day in, day out doing unbelievable things. He'll be the best in the world as long as he wants to give assists, score goals, press.
"He has been touched by the magic wand for many years now."
Luis Enrique also lavished praised on 18-year-old debutant Munir El Haddadi, who only broke into the club's B team earlier this year.
"Munir is tearing through the levels at a terrifying rate," the Blaugrana coach enthused. "He gives us options, he scores goals and he's competitive."