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

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company