• Lionel Messi scored via a penalty in Barca's 5-1 win
  • Koeman said there are other great players in Barca's attack other than Messi
  • Barca will next face Real Madrid at home in La Liga

FC Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman took a dig at Lionel Messi, saying he also scored penalties during his playing days and thereby implied the Catalans would now look beyond the skipper for scoring options as the club has "great players up front".

At a post-match interview after Barcelona's 5-1 win over Ferencvaros in the Champions League, Koeman said he cannot complain if Messi provided assists along with scoring penalties, suggesting the team already has some great players in the attack.

"If he plays like he did tonight, I will have no complaints over Leo. He worked hard, he scored from the penalty spot but I then I too used to score penalties. If he doesn't score but gives two or three assists, we cannot ask more of him. We have people up front playing well and that is the best thing for a coach. I think we have shown that we have great players up front," Koeman told reporters in the post-match interview, as quoted by Goal.

Messi’s record goal against Ferencvaros was a fitting response to Koeman’s earlier comments stating the former could perform better. With the goal Tuesday, Messi became the first player to score in 16 straight Champions League seasons.

"With a great Leo, with two assists, and that is why we leave here happy. There is competition and not just for the right wing. We can play differently with Leo out wide or at No.10. There are great players in attack," added Koeman in the same interview.

Stop arguing: Lionel Messi said he wants everyone at Barcelona to pull together
Stop arguing: Lionel Messi said he wants everyone at Barcelona to pull together AFP / Josep LAGO

The other goal-scorers for Barcelona in the 5-1 win were Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, and Ansu Fati.

While 17-year-old Pedri scored on his Champions League debut, Fati also registered a record with his goal at Camp Nou on Tuesday. Fati, who scored at the 42nd minute, became the first-ever player under the age of 18 to have scored more than once in Europe’s premier tournament. Fati’s first Champions League goal came in the 2019-20 campaign when he had netted in Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Inter Milan at San Siro.

After the final whistle, an excited Fati did not hesitate to heap praise on his captain, Messi, saying he is continuing to learn from the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

"Messi is still Messi. He can score in any action. We are very happy to have him here with us and I continue to learn from him. We start with a good victory; we have to continue like that. [My goal is] thanks to all my team-mates, they make things easy for me. It's a fantastic pass from Frenkie [De Jong] and I just had to push the ball," Fati said in an interview.