Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has hailed Lionel Messi as the best player in the history of the game, after the Argentine's late winner gave his side the three points against Real Madrid in one of the most dramatic Clasicos in history.
Messi scored Barca's first after Casemiro opened the scoring for Los Blancos, and rounded off the game with an injury time strike to stun the hosts into silence.
Quoted by Marca after the game, Enrique said: "Messi even makes a difference when he's at home having dinner.
"He is the best player in the history of the game, and I have seen a lot of football and a lot of videos. He makes the difference and it's a huge pleasure for all Cules to have him identify as one of us."
Asked in a press conference later if Messi was the sole difference maker in the game, Enrique added: "Of course - that's why he plays for Barca. Messi's our best player.
"Just imagine, his 500th goal coming here, a winner in the 92nd minute at the Santiago Bernabeu. It's very nice for Leo and it's nice for everyone associated with Barca.
"He allowed us to have superiority in midfield, we wanted him on ball as often as possible. It was more difficult in the middle with lots of bodies in there, but he managed to do it for the first goal. It went as we'd hoped."
Barcelona have scored more 90th minute goals (9) this season than any other side in Europe's top 5 leagues.
Lionel Messi has 6 of them. ⏱ pic.twitter.com/NkMcLy1vey
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 24, 2017
The departing Barca manager insisted that his side would continue to fight with renewed vigour for the Spanish title, saying: "This season feels like five [seasons]. So many things have happened: good things, not so good things, things I've already forgotten.
"Madrid's second goal was a huge blow, but the players came back with their last breath. It was the happy ending we all wanted and I'm delighted with the performance, with how they battled until the last second.
"We are top now, but Madrid still have that game in hand. It will be tight and it will go right down to the wire, but we got the result we came here for."
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