Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman, has insisted that Lionel Messi remains the best footballer in the world.
Messi was named among the substitutes for a La Liga game for the first time since September 2019 in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Real Betis at Camp Nou .
He had failed to score or assist from open play in six league matches this term before last weekend’s contest, but Koeman denied he was dropped and put his absence from the side down to a knock.
Messi ended his open-play drought by powering home as a half-time substitute against Betis, having earlier scored his fifth penalty of the campaign in all competitions.
Koeman has reaffirmed he has full faith in the forward, who failed in an attempt to move away from the club at the end of last season.
“Messi has shown me to be a person who wants to win things and continue to be the best, even though he has had his problems with the club,” Koeman told Sport .
“Barcelona have been, are and will be a better team with Messi than without. When I arrived, they told me that Messi was unhappy.
“We spoke at his house and he explained his reasons to me. I was honest. I told him that the only thing is the system, his position on the field, his importance in the team.
“But the problems that he had had with the club I couldn’t change. From the first day I have said the same thing. He is the best and is committed to the club.
“He has had his issues, his problems this summer, but since he returned to training he has been very good.
“He has had bad luck in some games and he has not been able to offer the usual performance, but I am sure that at the end of the season he will have scored the usual goals.”
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