"I've always said that Messi is the best player in the world in all the ways that you want to look at it," Enrique said.
He was speaking at a news conference after the Argentinian's two goals steered 10-man Barca to 3-0 home win over Elche to start the La Liga season on a high on Sunday.
"If Messi wanted to be a defender he would be the best in the world defending. We have seen him do more difficult things in training and he will keep being the best in the world as long as he wants to be," he said.
"The game was made more difficult with the sending off and the team had to respond by playing a bit deeper but with the team we have and Messi in form it worked out."
Enrique was brought to the Camp Nou after the club failed to win any major trophy last season under Gerardo Martino.