Messi will be the best of all time, says Barcelona boss Vilanova

Goal.com
Messi will be the best of all time, says Barcelona boss Vilanova
.

View photo

Messi will be the best of all time, says Barcelona boss Vilanova

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova says Lionel Messi is on the way to becoming the best player of all time, and has revealed that everyone at the club hopes he will end his career there.

Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell confirmed this week that the Catalan side is planning to offer the Argentina international a new contract, despite his current deal running until 2016. And club trainer Vilanova has echoed the desire to keep Messi with the Liga giant for the foreseeable future.

"He is the best in the world. If he is not already the best in history, he will end up being so," the 44-year-old told a press conference. "To all at Barca it would be a joy to have him end his career here. You will not see a player like Messi again."

The former Celta player also denied suggestions that he has one eye on the upcoming Clasico on Oct. 7, saying Saturday's home clash with Granada is the only thing occupying his thoughts.

"I am not thinking about the Clasico," said the former Barcelona B midfielder. "What concerns me is reaching 15 points from a possible 15 this weekend.

"It has not been done many times in history. In my head there is only Granada, Granada and Granada. It's like you [reporters] asking me about the game in Madrid in the second round of fixtures.

"Against Granada, the incentive is to win, not to think that we move 11 points ahead of Madrid. As it is not up to us, it is not worth wasting time. I have seen games of Granada's and they are organized and do very well on the counterattack."

Vilanova also intimated that he was undecided as to who would play in central defense in the clash, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique both absent through injury. Talented youngster Marc Bartra could instead get the nod, while Alex Song is also in consideration.

"Tomorrow I will decide who plays. If [Marc] Bartra is in the first team it is because he has the ability," said the Barca coach. Marc will get games, but the season has only just begun. Bartra is in the first team because he deserves it, not because his contract may say so.

"Song can also be brought in to play at center back. He has many levels. He fits perfectly and can also play in defense. I was surprised because he understands everything I explain to him first time," he added.

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter

View Comments (8)
  • Villa must handle relegation dogfight pressure - Sherwood

    Villa must handle relegation dogfight pressure - Sherwood

    Aston Villa players must accept and cope with the pressure they are under as they battle to retain their Premier League status, manager Tim Sherwood said on Monday. Sherwood has overseen two defeats since taking the job and Villa lie second from … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Feyenoord faces racism case for fans' banana incident

    Feyenoord faces racism case for fans' banana incident

    UEFA has charged Feyenoord with racist behavior by fans who threw an inflatable banana on the pitch during a tense Europa League last-32 match against Roma. UEFA also charged Roma winger Adem Ljajic on Monday with ''provoking spectators'' when … More »

    AP - Sports - 23 minutes ago
  • Feyenoord charged over racist behaviour, missiles

    Feyenoord have been charged with racist behaviour and throwing of objects by their fans after last week's turbulent Europa League tie against AS Roma was interrupted, UEFA said on Monday. The Dutch club will also face disciplinary proceedings over … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago
  • Figo backs FIFA presidential TV debate proposal

    Figo backs FIFA presidential TV debate proposal

    FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo is willing to take part in a live televised date with his three rivals, the former Portugal forward said on Monday. British broadcasters BBC and Sky have suggested the hour-long debate which would also involve … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago
  • Another week of uncertainty for stricken Parma

    Stricken Parma face yet another week of uncertainty with no sign of an end to the financial chaos at the once-proud club where the players have not been paid all season and even have to do their own laundry. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) … More »

    Reuters - 49 minutes ago