Messi says Rijkaard was very important in his career.

Lionel Messi hail Frank Rijkaard as his most important manager

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Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world right now.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored an incredible 449 goals in 520 appearances since making his debut for Barcelona as a 16-year-old.

Of course, Messi was always destined for greatness but he has been helped by some world-class teammates including Andres Iniesta and Xavi.


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What about his managers?

The likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and even Diego Maradona have all had the pleasure of coaching the Argentinian superstar and helped develop his career.

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But, who does Messi regard as the coach that has had the biggest influence on his career?

"The truth is that all the coaches I had since I arrived in the Primera Division taught me something," he told MBC, per

"But I think the most important in my career was Rijkaard.”

Messi added: ”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.

Barcelona's coach Rijkaard (L) embraces

"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,” he concluded.

Rijkaard spent four seasons in charge at the Nou Camp, winning two La Liga titles and a Champions League.

But the way he introduced a young Messi to senior football may be far more important to the history of the club.


Messi has gone on to win seven league titles and four Champions Leagues - something that may not have happened if the Dutch manager hadn’t given him the opportunity to play his first match back in 2003.

Thirteen years later and Messi has become, arguably, the greatest footballer in the history of the sport and he obviously believes that Rijkaard deserves a lot of credit for that

Is Lionel Messi the greatest footballer of all-time? Let us know in the comments box below!

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