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Ernesto Valverde: 'Lionel Messi continuing to get even better'

Valverde: 'Messi keeps getting better'
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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admits that he cannot wait to work with superstar forward Lionel Messi, whom he believes has still yet to reach his peak form.

Ernesto Valverde has admitted that he is "excited to coach" Lionel Messi after recently being appointed as Barcelona's new manager.

The 53-year-old takes over from Luis Enrique and is tasked with ousting Real Madrid in his first campaign at the helm, following what was an underwhelming 2016-17 for the club as they missed out on their main goals of the Champions League and La Liga.

Valverde is confident that he has a player in Messi with the ability to get better and better, claiming that the world has yet to see the Argentina international - a five-time winner of the Ballon d'Or - at his peak.

"Every day he surprises you, he is indisputably the best player in the world and I'm excited to coach him," he told Barca TV. "He will do something amazing one day, then the next day you feel he surely can't do anymore, but he does and keeps improving.

"When someone repeats the best things continually then there is a moment you think it is unrepeatable, but he just gets better and better. And we are still waiting for the best."

Messi struck a further 53 goals for Barca in all competitions last season, bringing up his magical 500th for the club in their eventful El Clasico win over Madrid in April.

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Long-limbed Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring lors de la finale de la Coupe de la Ligue entre Lille et PSG le 23 Avril, 2016
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