Former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has heaped praise on both Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta upon his return to the Camp Nou.
Nowadays, Rijkaard is enjoying his retirement, having announced back in December 2016 that he no longer wishes to pursue a position in management.
The Dutchman enjoyed a successful five years with Barcelona, winning both the Champions League (2005/06) and La Liga twice (2004/05, 2005/06). Rijkaard’s biggest achievement however, was quite possibly handing a 17-year-old Lionel Messi his debut 13 years ago.
Now 13 years later and a lot has changed for Riijkard, but his admiration for Messi has not.
⚽️ 361 goals
👟 139 assists
Lionel Messi has played a part in 500 LaLiga goals! 💎 pic.twitter.com/mxgbIv9abY
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 4, 2017
“Now I am a family man and I am happy to have seen another Barcelona game,” the Dutchman told Marca, as he returned to watch Barcelona’s 2-2 home draw to Celta Vigo last Saturday, a game in which Messi scored.
“He [Messi] is a god for everyone.”
Since his debut back in 2004, the record five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone on to become one of the world’s greatest ever players.
Despite turning 30 in the summer, Messi remains invaluable not only to to Rijkaard but to Barcelona. Having signed a new contract – which includes a £616m buyout clause – Barcelona have managed to keep their prized asset for the foreseeable future.