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Luis Enrique Discusses Lionel Messi After Barcelona Star's 2015 Ballon D'Or Win

FC Barcelona and Argentina's forward  Lionel Messi waves holding his trophy after receiving the 2015 FIFA Ballon dOr award for player of the year during the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 11, 2016. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN / AFP / OLIVIER MORIN        (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
OLIVIER MORIN/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2016

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique believes star forward Lionel Messi is so good he could play centre-back and still prove "decisive."  

Enrique spoke on Tuesday after Messi claimed the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on Monday, per Joe Wright of Goal.com"Whatever position he plays, he'll add to the team, as a goalscorer and providing assists. If you played him as a midfielder, a centre-back, he'd still be decisive."

It was Messi's fifth Ballon d'Or win, the perfect reflection of his status as the most dominant player in world football. The win saw the Argentinian goal-getter beat competition from perennial rival and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, along with Barca team-mate, Neymar.

Enrique believes last season's treble winners are fortunate to have more than one player competing for the award: "I'm very happy. He's being recognised as the greatest player of all time and we're so lucky to have players like Neymar in these ceremonies as well."

Enrique believes Barca are lucky to have two world-class stars.
Enrique believes Barca are lucky to have two world-class stars.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Enrique noted Messi's contribution to Barca's three trophy wins last season. But he also felt the free-scoring No. 10 wasn't the only decisive contributor: "I think there were lots of players to help us have that incredible year and they also deserve these prizes but not everyone can win. It's down to the voters."

While he's welcomed personal honours for his players, Enrique also stressed how a team ethic is ultimately more important: "It's all about winning titles as a club and the players know this is more important than any individual accolades."

The Barca boss hit on the central conflict inherent in the Ballon d'Or process and ceremony. Crowning an individual champion often goes against the spirit of a team sport.

Still, few would begrudge Messi his accolades considering the awesome standards he's set as an attacking force since making the breakthrough at the Camp Nou.

His form indicates that not only will he collect more prizes, but Barca won't be short of trophies as long as their mini marvel is leading the line up front.

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