Lionel Messi has been dubbed “the most important man in Barcelona history” by Ronald Koeman.
Messi joined Xavi at the top of Barcelona’s all-time appearance makers list, cementing his place in the record books. He scored two goals in the 4-1 victory over Huesca on his 767th appearance for the club, increasing the pressure on Atletico Madrid in the title race.
After a sluggish start to the season, Barcelona is gaining traction, and coach Koeman praised Argentina superstar Lionel Messi for motivating the team to victory.
“I believe Messi has shown that he is the strongest, “According to Koeman.
“The first goal was superb. He is deserving of a prominent position on this squad. I’m at a loss for words when it comes to Leo. He’s been at this stage for so long, and he’s played so many games. He has caught up to Xavi and, in theory, will overtake him on Sunday. He is the most influential figure in the club’s history. Fortunately, he is still alive.”
Most players will be content to set a single-game record, but Messi is not most players. He surpassed the 20-goal mark for the season with two strikes. Messi achieved the feat for the 13th consecutive season, making him the only player in La Liga history to do so.
The draw between Atletico Madrid and Getafe on Saturday left the door slightly ajar, and Barcelona took advantage to close the gap to four points at the top of the table.
The Liga season is down to its final 11 games, and Koeman needs his “confident” squad to keep pushing.
“We have responded well to the points we lost for a few weeks,” the Dutch coach said.
“The party is upbeat. We’re in good shape and fighting hard. We can’t lose any more points because we’ve already given up a lot. I’ve always maintained that there’s a lot on the line. Any team’s ability to hold out is always a challenge.”