Messi the best by far - Vilanova

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova hailed Lionel Messi as "the best player in the world by far" after his two goals in El Clasico.

Last Updated: 08/10/12 at 00:15 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Two goals in 2-2 draw with Real Madrid

Lionel Messi: Two goals in 2-2 draw with Real Madrid

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova chose to focus on the brilliance of Lionel Messi rather than engage in a slanging match with Real Madrid after the teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first Clasico of the Primera Division season.

Cristiano Ronaldo started and finished the scoring at the Nou Camp, with Messi also at the double - his second strike a stunning free-kick - to ensure honours ended even.

"We do not know his limits," Vilanova said of the Argentina forward. "You should see how he trains every day - that urge he has to keep getting better.

"I think we will never see another player like this. He is the best in the world by far."

Vilanova added that Ronaldo would be "more recognised" if his career had not coincided with Messi's.

As always between the arch rivals, tensions frequently looked in danger of boiling over.

Visiting defender Pepe accused Andres Iniesta of "doing theatre" in a bid to win a second-half penalty and Madrid coach Jose Mourinho - who infamously poked a finger into the eye of Vilanova on the touchline last season when he was Pep Guardiola's assistant - claimed the referee made "one mistake at a certain moment".

"He said he does not want to discuss referees, yet he has," Vilanova said of his opposite number. "If you talk about referees you should talk about all actions, not a few in particular."

On Pepe's claims of simulation against Iniesta, Vilanova quipped: "We should make a video of all his fouls and actions."

Vilanova's side headed into the game eight points clear of the champions and boasting a 100 per cent record from their first six matches.

The result allowed Atletico Madrid to join Barca at the summit of La Liga thanks to their 2-1 home win over Malaga in the late kick-off, but Vilanova remained more than satisfied with his team's start to the campaign.

"Of course we always think that we have to win games and in the end I thought we could have," he said on the club's official website. "We had late chances with (Martin) Montoya and Pedro (Rodriguez).

"If at the beginning of the season we were told that we would be eight points ahead (of Madrid) at this stage we would have taken that."

Barca confirmed after the match that wing-back Dani Alves will be out of action for three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury which required him to be substituted in the 28th minute.

Ronaldo also picked up a knock, with Madrid revealing on their website that the Portugal international will undergo more tests over the next few hours after suffering a sprained left shoulder.

Both sides had decent penalty shouts turned down at the start of the second half, Mesut Ozil going down after contact with Javier Mascherano before Iniesta appeared to be clipped by Pepe.

"The referee is good, but made one mistake at a certain moment," Mourinho said. "It can happen to anyone. I will not mention the penalty."

The Portuguese added: "It was a great game that either team could have won."


Click here for a completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wary over a lack of European football

Louis Van Gaal believes a lack of Champions League football this season could damage Manchester United’s title hopes.

Premier League: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini not concerned by Yaya Toure's form

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no concerns over the form or commitment of midfielder Yaya Toure.

Transfer news: Chelsea's Jose Mourinho plays down Cristiano Ronaldo transfer talk

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has played down speculation about signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property