Barcelona's Messi was LaLiga's best player in January
The Argentinean star scored six goals in the games against Granada, Málaga and Atlético, two of which were vital for his side's victories. Emery was the best coach of the month.
Leo Messi was the outstanding player in Spain in January, according to LaLiga, with the writers at LaLiga.es awarding him the prize, which was presented to him today. The Argentinean scored a hat-trick against Granada, was decisive in La Rosaleda, with the winning goal in Barça’s 1-2 victory, and scored the leveller against Atlético, before Luis Enrique’s men went on to 2-1.
Messi, in short, has been decisive in maintaining Barcelona at the top of LaLiga despite suffering two physical problems.
Firstly, the after-effects of a kidney stone that kept him out of the Club World Cup and for which he received further treatment this week, and then soreness that saw him leave the pitch at half-time against Athletic and miss the first leg of the Copa in San Mamés.
Niggles aside, LaLiga valued the importance of both his goals, and his influence on every game he plays in. The player is also just two goals off his 300th goal in LaLiga, a record likely to fall in February.
Since the award was created in 2013 Messi had never before been awarded player of the month.
Unai Emery picked up the coach of the month, with Sevilla taking 10 points from 15, furthering their incredible record at the Sánchez Pizjuán, and achieving a valiant draw achieved at the Calderón with 10 men. LaLiga also noted, despite the fact it’s another competition, the club’s run in the Copa, where they are now in the final (though the semi-finals actually took place in February).
Emery’s stock continues to rise…