Barcelona icon Patrick Kluivert believes Lionel Messi “needs” a rival like Cristiano Ronaldo to bring the best out of him.
The Argentine has rocketed back to his best form in 2015, winning the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey in a euphoric season at Camp Nou.
Messi’s performances have seen him installed as heavy favourite to win January’s Ballon d’Or, which Real Madrid’s Ronaldo has won the previous two years.
Their status as the two best players in the world playing for Spanish arch-rivals has elevated their rivalry – something that former Barca forward Kluivert thinks has been essential for Messi’s successes.
“Messi is in a different dimension with his football, but I also think he urgently needs someone like Cristiano Ronaldo,” the 39-year-old told Voetbal Zone.
“He needs someone who gives him an incentive to go for it every game, to see each match as a challenge. Both players are world class and a level above the rest.
“At Barcelona, now there is only one central player: Messi. During my time, there were several important players there, though on the other hand Messi’s nothing without his team-mates.”
Kluivert currently coaches Caribbean nation Curacao (ranked 148th in the world) but suggested he has eyes for Luis Enrique’s current job at Camp Nou, where he played between 1998 and 2004.
“Of course, it’s my dream to be coach of Barcelona,” the Dutchman added. “Yes, I know it is certainly a possibility which is far away, but who knows what might happen.
“Luis Enrique was a leader on the field in our playing days and always crazy about football. These two features – leadership and passion – ensure he’s a top trainer. It makes sense he’s done well.”
Curacao lost 1-0 in the home leg of their latest World Cup 2018 qualifier against El Salvador and will need to win Tuesday’s return leg to have any chance of reaching the fourth round of Concacaf qualification.


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