Messi 'sees things others don't' says Barcelona coach

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Messi scored twice, with Philippe Coutinho also on target, as well as hitting the woodwork two times and creating gilt-edged chances for teammates Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez. He made history again, scoring Barcelona's 6,000th La Liga goal in his 15th straight campaign for the Spanish side.

"Messi is a genius", said Valverde. On February 1, 2009, MESSI scored Barcelona's 5000th goal in La Liga.

"That's how we've started ahead of the new season, we'll see how he gets on", Valverde added. He always surprises you - he never ceases to amaze me, honestly.

"I had no idea he was going to shoot like that, for us it's spectacular that he has such a range of options", said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets.

"He already scored a goal like that against Girona", he intimated. It's not a common free kick but he does it often. That was a great effort.

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Even visiting coach Abelardo, a former Barca defender, was full of praise for Messi's performance.

Messi, the new Barcelona captain, finally broke the deadlock in the 64th minute with his enterprising free-kick, which recalled a similar strike against Celta Vigo last season and brought the stadium to its feet.

"We expected Alaves would be hard because they tighten up at the back and it was like that in the first half, but in the second we found more space and the goals arrived", said Roberto. They defended very well out there, they were very compact.

"When Alaves started opening up more, we were able to kill off the game".

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