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

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Champions League: Carlo Ancelotti backs Basle against Liverpool

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti expects Basle to avoid defeat against Liverpool and join them in the second round.

Champions League: Brendan Rodgers hails 'character' of Liverpool after draw at Ludogorets

Brendan Rodgers hailed the character of his Liverpool team after their 2-2 draw away to Ludogorets in the Champions League.

Champions League: Liverpool must cut out errors at set pieces, says Gary Neville

Liverpool's defensive frailties at set pieces will continue to haunt them, says Gary Neville.

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

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