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Luis Enrique snubs Lionel Messi when naming shock pick for 'world's most influential player'

Tom Jenkins

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Luis Enrique snubs Lionel Messi when naming shock pick for 'world's most influential player'

Luis Enrique has snubbed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when naming a surprising choice for the most influential player in world football.

Despite managing Messi for three years at Barcelona, the Spaniard named Ousmane Dembele as the most influential player in the world.

Messi had previously been named a "genius like Beethoven" by Enrique, but the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is clearly old news to his former boss.

Kylian Mbappe was also overlooked by his current manager, despite scoring 13 more league goals than his French teammate this season.

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Mbappe has been on the end of some criticism from Enrique in recent weeks, with the Spaniard being quoted as saying he was 'not happy' with his side's top scorer following PSG vs Reims in spite of Mbappe scoring a hat-trick in the match.

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Dembele was signed for a reported £45m from Barcelona in the summer, with the forward's injury record at the Spanish club tainting his five-year spell.

Enrique spoke to Media ahead of PSG's home clash against Newcastle United and was full of praise for his French international who has one goal and four assists in Ligue 1 this season.

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"I keep insisting on my point: Ousmane Dembele is the most influential football player in the world. No doubts," Enrique told the media.

The PSG boss continued: "He doesn’t care about mistakes. He keeps going, he loves to try. He doesn’t listen to criticism… he always generates good things."

Dembele has been in fine form in recent weeks for the French champions and has been a crucial part of their success.

The winger's chemistry with Achraf Hakimi down the right side of the PSG team has been a blessing for Enrique, with the pair consistently supplying Mbappe with goal-scoring chances.

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Dembele played the full 90 minutes for PSG in their 1-1 draw with Newcastle and was involved in the incident that led to PSG's last-minute penalty after playing the ball against Tino Livramento's elbow.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Champions League, Lionel Messi, Luis Enrique, Paris Saint-Germain, Football

Tom Jenkins
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