Cruyff wants more from Messi
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Johan Cruyff believes Lionel Messi has to become more of a team player.
Johan Cruyff believes Lionel Messi has to become more of a team player if he is to be considered a true great, and has passed on some of his expert knowledge.
The Dutchman, who is still connected to Barcelona, has been impressed by the young Argentinian's ability but wants him to mature more in order to become even better.
As Messi has drawn many plaudits recently, Cruyff spoke out to warn him that he must keep on improving and working hard to help himself and his team-mates.
"For all the natural talent that he has, he still has to learn certain things that he does not yet have. Experience and his development as a person," he told AS.
"As good as Messi may appear now, he still has to grow as a player and as a human being. His aim must be to be better than he is.
"To be better doesn't mean scoring another incredible goal, it means helping those around you more."
During Cruyff's time as coach of Barca he oversaw many blossoming careers, but sees most similarities between Messi and Espanyol's Ivan de la Pena.
"In a certain sense, Messi reminds me of what happened with Ivan de la Pena," Cruyff continued.
"Everyone wanted him to make the final pass, the killer pass to create a goal, and I was obsessed that he could do that.
"For every ten balls you receive, play nine of them easily and keep one for yourself, maybe two at most.
"It should never be the other way round or you lose that element of surprise."