Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has branded Lionel Messi as a ‘genius’ after the Argentine starred during the club’s 3-0 win over Alaves in the season opener. Messi had a rather frustrating World Cup with Argentina over the summer but he managed to shed the disappointment with a brace to kick-start the league campaign.
Messi struggled to find his best form for Argentina during the recent World Cup in Russia and this saw the country ousted at the round of 16 stage after they beaten 4-3 by eventual champions France. Thereafter, there have been plenty of critics targeting the attacker after he was alleged to have influenced the team selection following a disagreement with manager Jorge Sampaoli.
Regardless of this, Messi had remained mum on the situation and he has now started the campaign with Barcelona in fine fashion with two goals and one assist – the latter which came during the Spanish Super Cup clash against Sevilla. Barcelona are scheduled to take on newcomers Real Valladolid in their next league outing this weekend and Valverde will be hoping that Messi can continue with the fine form showcased since becoming the permanent captain.