Lionel Messi is “the best in football history” and La Liga president Javier Tebas is open to naming a trophy for the competition’s best player in his honour.
Barcelona superstar Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, is LaLiga’s all-time leading goalscorer on 390 and has lifted the title on nine occasions.
The Spanish top-flight’s end-of-season awards have not been handed out since the 2015-16 campaign due to a desire to reformat, and Tebas would be keen to show recognition for the 31-year-old in the same way daily sports newspaper Marca have named accolades after Telmo Zarra, Rafael ‘Pichichi’ Moreno and Ricardo Zamora.
Asked about dedicating a trophy to Messi, Tebas told Omnisport: “I like that idea, we would have to think about.
“I think Messi will be the best in football history, he already is.
“Some people talk about Neymar but he is already 26 years old and as far as I remember Messi started to play for Barcelona as a youngster and he surprises us every year he seems not to have limits and he plays at a maximum level.
“He is the best and I think it’s a great idea to create a trophy for the best player every season named [after] Leo Messi.
“If it is Zarra for the best scorer…I think it’s a great idea.”
Messi was injured and on the sidelines as Barca thumped Real Madrid 5-1 in an astonishing Clasico at the weekend.
Ernesto Valverde, though, insists that they still miss arguably the finest player in their history.
“For us, since last week when he got injured, we were probably thinking how we would respond on the pitch,” he told a news conference.
“There’s only one answer, you have to respond as a team and that’s what we’ve done. The result could’ve been different but that’s the only answer we can give you.
“We’re delighted for the team but obviously the sooner he’s back the better for us because we miss him. We want him back tomorrow.”