'Messi is a genius' - Valverde still amazed by Barcelona ace

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Despite now being in his second season coaching the Argentine, the manager is still amazed by his star man

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde feels football supporters should consider themselves fortunate to have been able to witness Lionel Messi's extraordinary performances.

The 31-year-old Argentina international, who is likely to be considered one of the greatest players ever when he calls time on his glittering career, struck twice as Barca overcame a stubborn Deportivo Alaves side in a La Liga match at Camp Nou on Saturday.

The opener was an opportunistic effort from a free-kick cleverly rolled under the opposition wall, and which happened to be Barca's 6,000th goal in the history of Spain's top flight.

"Messi is a genius," Valverde told a news conference. 

"We're lucky to be able to see him every day.

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"We're lucky to be involved in football during the era in which he is playing -- we want him to pull a rabbit from the hat every day.

"There's still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you -- he never ceases to amaze me, honestly.

"You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees."