Jorge Valdano: Leo Messi is first real genius of this century

Jorge Valdano, former General Director of Real Madrid, has spoken out and called his fellow countryman Lionel Messi the “first genius of the 21st century” and also had praise for Marcelo Bielsa, Athletic Bilbao’s coach, stating that “everything he does has an epic dimension that makes football more noble.”

In a recent interview, Valdano said that the legacy that Guardiola leaves behind is the idea and that Spanish clubs are working very well in the training of future talent.

Talking about Barcelona’s hitman Messi, the former world champion with Argentina in Mexico ’86 considered that “it did not surprise anyone.”

“With Leo Messi, we got used to the extraordinary. And suddenly we have begun to commit some injustices with him. Only afew days ago he broke the record for most goals in a season in European football and I’m not saying that this feat went unnoticed, but the news did not have the impact that it deserved”, said Valdano.

“I think we are looking at the first genius of the 21st century. But with one difference: we usually allow geniuses to be inconsistant, but Leo is a genius with amazing continuity, whether that be during a game or a championship. When the little Argentine has an “off day”, Messi is among the top three in the match”, he said.

According to Jorge Valdano, “It’s great to see Messi with the ball at his feet. After the game he downplays everything he’s just done on the field and becomes just like anyone else. It’s hard not to be confused being Leo Messi, but he does it and it is this quality that he posesses that is not valued at all”.

Regarding the Athletic Bilbao coach, Marcelo Bielsa, Valdano insisted that “everything Bielsa does has an epic dimension that makes football more noble.”

Valdano said that Marcelo Bielsa’s teams “play with the ball on the floor and start playing from deep. There’s a lot of intensity in their game and they do not waste time kicking the ball upfield. They constantly attack even when they are winning and they also connect with their fans”.

“Bielsa has given back the Basque team their pride they once had because in the past they had become accustomed to taking on a minor role in the championship”, noted Valdano.

He also had a few words for Pep Guardiola, the coach who has won the most with Barcelona and is leaving the Catalan giants in the summer.

“The legacy that Guardiola is leaving is the idea, the value of the idea which even has a name: this idea is called Tito Vilanova. A person that has no media attention whatsoever but who represents the defense of a style that Pep has defended so vehemently over the last four years” he added.

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