Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hails Usain Bolt as 'Lionel Messi of athletics'

Usain Bolt, who defended his sprint double titles in Beijing yesterday, was hailed as 'the Messi of athletics' on Friday by Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

Updated: Aug 28, 2015, 20:01 PM IST
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hails Usain Bolt as 'Lionel Messi of athletics'

New Delhi: Usain Bolt, who defended his sprint double titles in Beijing yesterday, was hailed as 'the Messi of athletics' on Friday by Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

"Bolt is the best sprinter of all time and is a brand and I think Messi is the best player of all time. You could make a good comparison between Messi and Bolt," Enrique said.

The Jamaican sprinter, often regarded as the greatest athlete of all-time, destroyed a strong men's 200m field which also included American challenger Justin Gatlin at Bird's Nest on Thursday to complete his double. Last Sunday, Bolt had already captured the 100m title.

In a celebrated career, the 29-year-old has so far captured 10 gold medals in the world championships, besides six Olympic gold medals in 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay events.

Interestingly, Lionel Messi also picked up two more awards for himself yesterday during the UEFA gala in Monaco. His strike against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final was adjudged the best goal in Europe for the 2014-15 season. It was followed by an even bigger, assuring prize, that of UEFA European Player of the Season, ahead of his great rival Real Madrid front man Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca team-mate Luis Suarez.

28-year-old Argentine, having won the Ballon d'Or award an unprecedented four times in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, is regarded as the best football player ever despite his obvious lack of a World Cup trophy with the national team.

Last season, he helped the Catalan giants to a record-making second continental treble, winning the Spanish league, Spanish cup, and the Champions League.

Comparisons certainly come easy when it's about world's best. And both Messi and Bolt are certainly giants among men.