Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has explained why he believes Lionel Messi is the “best in history”.
Messi tormented Tottenham as Barcelona dealt their European hopes another blow with a 4-2 Champions League victory at Wembley last night.
Pochettino’s side were blitzed by stunning goals from Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and two from the irrepressible Messi.
Harry Kane, and then Erik Lamela, briefly gave the hosts a chance of taking something from the match by cutting the deficit to one.
But Messi’s second in the last minute put paid to that, meaning the late collapse at Inter Milan now looks even more costly with no points from their opening two matches in Group B.
And Coutinho, who capitalised on Hugo Lloris’ early mistake to put Barca ahead after just two minutes, believes Messi is “the best in history” because he is “unpredictable”.
Coutinho told UEFA.com: “That was a tough game. This is a hard place to come and win. But winnng was our objective and we’ve achieved that. Messi is the best in the world, and I must say he’s the best in history in my opinion. Everything he does is so unpredictable. I’m thrilled for him that he scored twice tonight.”
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets also praised the Argentinian striker.
He told UEFA.com: “What he [Messi] gives us going forward with his goals, with his assists, in defence… We were clinical in attack and solid in defence.
“In the second half he had two similar moves – both of which hit the post, but this is the Champions League and it’s very tough to win away.”
“It was a really important win. We’ve left Tottenham in a dangerous position and we’re top of the group. Knowing now that Inter won, too, we now have two games against them to see who’s the best team and try be top of the group.
“We had to work hard for the win, but it was very important. We put in a very complete performance.”
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was also happy to get back on track after two draws and a defeat against Leganes in there last three games.
“After a few bad results it was important to do well today. Our response was very good. The game was very tense and there were many changes to the scoreboard. It was a difficult match and a difficult team. We had a few problems during the game but we managed to solve them,” said Valverde.
“We knew it was a very difficult group and we knew this would be a key game because it was at Wembley and because it was Tottenham Hotspur. I hope the fans are happy with the players.”