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Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli has heaped praise on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, comparing him to Batman.
As far as the Argentinian boss is concerned, other players pale in comparison to Messi as normal policemen do to DC Comics’ caped crusader, per beIN Sport Espana (via Adriana Garcia on ESPN FC): “I’ve always said that to compare Messi with the rest is like comparing a great policeman to Batman.”
Sampaoli is enjoying an excellent start to his career as Sevilla boss—he succeeded Unai Emery in the summer—with Los Rojiblancos above Barcelona in La Liga’s standings and just a point behind leaders Real Madrid.
Would Sampaoli be a good successor to Enrique at Barca?
Per Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague and Adam Bate, Sampaoli, 56, is being tipped by many as Luis Enrique’s long-term successor as Barca manager.
He has previously said that he would “love to coach Messi” one day, per Goal’s Ezequiel Scher, and he is doing little damage to his chances of that dream becoming a reality.
Clearly, despite Messi losing out to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for both the Ballon d’Or and the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for 2016, Sampaoli believes his compatriot to be unmatched in the world game at the moment.
Given that he is still only 29, Messi still likely has a number of years left in his glittering career, and he will surely remain at Barca for some time yet.
Sampaoli’s impressive work so far with Sevilla has surprised even those who rated him highly before, per Spanish football writer David Cartlidge:
Sampaoli producing key decisions at decisive moments. He’s a better coach than many of his admirers even expected.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) January 15, 2017
It is his first job in European football having previously been in charge of Chile and various South American clubs.
Should he continue to impress, he will surely be high on the least to replace Enrique when he departs and could then get the chance to work with superhero Messi.