Lionel Messi Says Frank Rijkaard Has Been the Most Important Coach in His Career

Tom Webb@@tomwebby92UK Staff WriterMarch 27, 2016

FC Barcelona's Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard (L) and Argentinian Lionel Messi take part in a training session on May 1, 2008 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.   AFP PHOTO/JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has revealed which coach has had the biggest impact on his career.

And despite enjoying huge success under Pep Guardiola and winning the treble last year with Luis Enrique, the Argentinian forward said it is Frank Rijkaard who played the most critical role in his development.

He told MBC (via Goal):

The truth is that all the coaches I had since I arrived in the Primera Division taught me something. But I think the most important in my career was Rikjaard. If he hadn't trusted in me and not decided to put me in the first team first to train and then play my first match, maybe I wouldn't have made it to the first team. 

I always said that he was for me a very important person, because he trusted in me, put me in at the right time, picked me to play for the first team and that was very important for me.

Messi made his Barca debut as a 17-year-old under Rijkaard against Espanyol in 2004. The pair went on to win two Primera Division titles and the UEFA Champions League before the Dutchman left the club in 2008.

[h/t Goal]

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