Ex-Barcelona Coach Carles Rexach Praised For Discovering Lionel Messi

Charly may not have been the most successful Blaugrana coach in recent memory but he did discover one of the footballing jewels of the century.

Carles Rexach had two brief coaching stints at Barcelona in the early 1990s and early 2000s, but in between he was the club’s sporting director. It was there that he pulled off what will now very likely be recognised as one of the finds of the century, when he unearthed Lionel Messi.

The Argentine virtuoso was presented with the Marca Legend Award on Wednesday night and the director of the Madrid-based newspaper, Eduardo Inda, not only lavished high praise on the player, but also on the man who brought him to the Camp Nou.

“Right now, Messi is the best player in the world. And, if there is no arbitral robbery, he is going to win the Balon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award,” said Inda during last night’s presentation in Barcelona’s Hotel Melia.

“The reason why he arrived at Barca for nothing is because of Rexach. The discovery of the player is just as commendable as his promotion to the first team. [Joan] Laporta foretold in 2005 that Leo would become the best player in the world. Most people just smiled at what seemed like a brag. But La Masia is undoubtedly the best youth system with the highest quality.”

One of Barca’s ex-directors, Gabriel Masfurroll, who is also a close personal friend of Messi’s, also spoke during the ceremony.

“Leo arrived at Barcelona because of a growth hormone problem and our daughter, Paola, was also diagnosed with the same ailment. She always looks up to Leo and for the Masfurroll family, Messi is very special to us,” he praised.

“A lot of people know that he is the best player in the world but not many know that he has a foundation that does a lot of good things. He is a good person, a normal person, and you can’t put a price on that.”

Messi will now join a list of other footballing gods to have picked up the Marca Legend accolade, along with Maradona, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane, Alfredo Di Stefano, Gento and Raul. ‘El Mesias’, however, at just 21-years-old, is the youngest recipient, beating tennis star Rafael Nadal and swimmer Michael Phelps.  

KS Leong, Goal.com

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