BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 02: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Hernan Perez (R) and Javi Lopez of RCD Espanyol during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona at Cornella-El Prat Stadium on January 2, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo : David Ramos/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi is on top of the world right now after copping the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award for best male player, but the road ahead could see more surprises from the Argentine soccer player.
After rebounding magnificently from a forgettable 2014, Messi could end up playing another position – central defender – if coach Luis Enrique’s revelation is any indication of things to come from the 28-year-old star.
If ever, the move hardly comes as a surprise. Messi silently showed he was able to play different positions last year, one of the reasons believed to be behind his rebound performance.
“Whatever position he plays, he'll add to the team, as a goalscorer and providing assists. If you played him as a midfielder, a centre-back, he'd still be decisive,” says Enrique in an interview with Goal.com.
Enriquez was ironically recognized in Zurich, honored as the best coach for 2015.
'It's an honour that has come as a reward for everything the players and staff did last year. I'm very grateful to those who voted," he added.
On Messi, Enrique says that seeing the player win the award was a no-brainer. Messi was the key to Barca snagging three trophies last season.
However, he also points out that it was not all about No. 10 and adds that there were other key contributors. Unfortunately, the award can only go to one player, so it is entirely dependent on the ones who cast their votes.
Despite the feting that Messi had, Enriquez stressed that Barca’s success still stems from a team philosophy.
"It's all about winning titles as a club, and the players know this is more important than any individual accolades," he says via the Bleacher Report.
With all the celebration done and over with, it is back to business for Barcelona. If Messi’s latest rant is any indication, the club has set its sights on another milestone for the team as a whole – become the first team to retain the Champions League.
“The objective at Barcelona is like always, to try and win everything. The reality is we know that, every time, it's more difficult when you have just won it but I think the squad knows we have a great opportunity here, and we'll try it,” says Messi via the Daily Mail.
Barcelona will take on Arsenal in the last 16 of the tournament, with the first leg taking place next month.