Iniesta the closest talent to Messi, says former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique

Spain boss Luis Enrique revealed Andres Iniesta was the closest talent to Lionel Messi he has coached.

A record six-time Ballon d'Or winner, Messi is widely regarded as one of the best players of all-time.

Luis Enrique coached Messi and Iniesta at Barcelona, where he was at the helm from 2014-17.

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In a Q&A on the Spain national team's Facebook page, Luis Enrique talked up both Iniesta, now playing for Vissel Kobe, and Messi.

"The player that impressed me most in my career, I don't know if you mean being myself as a player or as a coach or both, without doubt is Leo Messi," he said.

"Afterwards, I can say that Andres Iniesta is close to something similar to Leo Messi.

"But Messi is hugely different in respect to the others."

When asked if he could return as Barcelona manager in the future, Luis  Enrique refused to rule out a sensational move to Camp Nou .

"I think I can coach anywhere I've been [before]," he said.

"I've left the doors open at all of them. My time at Barcelona was marvellous and I'll always be grateful.

"I am very lucky to have been in a club for so many years that gave me everything."

Luis Enrique returned to the role of Spain head coach on November 19, five months after stepping down for personal reasons.

His immediate focus is on guiding La Roja to European Championship success, with this year's tournament being pushed back 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have to try to prepare for the Euros in the best way and recuperate a good line of action, being in the hunt to win trophies," he said.

"I see the national team capable of winning things - in fact that is one of the challenges that I think about as the head coach of Spain. 

"I have never hid this, but it is obvious that we are within a process. And there are a group of other national teams with great potential. 

"We are part of this group of six or seven national teams that can access the goals - our performance will say if we can get there or not."

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