There have been concerns raised in Spain about the form of Barcelona and Lionel Messi. As usual, the two are closely linked, even perhaps intrinsically linked, especially with new Brazilian star Neymar currently unavailable with his own injury problem.
People have pointed to the fact that Messi has not been playing quite the same role as usual, often dropping deeper and not making his trademark bursts into the penalty area. His goalscoring has certainly not been what we expect since he returned from a two month lay-off with a hamstring problem.
Messi himself has assured fans of Barcelona and Argentina, in an interview with the BBC, that there really is nothing to worry about. He is merely working his way back to full match fitness, probably with more caution than usual, with a tough end to the season looming for the Spanish champions. He is also firmly focused on finally getting his hands on the World Cup trophy with his Argentina teammates.
Messi said, “I’m very well, full of energy and a lot of hope.I was able to play again after a long time.
“I’m happy with my current form and, slowly but surely, I will be getting there to hopefully peak at the right time of the year.
“I hope this could be a great year, not only for me but also for Barcelona and Argentina.
“Every season is a new challenge. With Barcelona we always play for major honours and we are always asked to win them all.
“I still have a lot to learn and a huge deal to improve.
“I hope to keep performing at a high level all the way to the World Cup, because we have a lot to play for with Barca, with a hard tie in the Champions League and a very hard La Liga and Copa Del Rey to deal with.
“To desire to keep winning things is my main motivation. I want to keep going and win them all.”
It looks like being an El Clasico final in the Copa Del Rey later this year, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both in pole position in the semi-finals. And Atletico Madrid have pulled out a three point lead in the league, so Sunday’s trip to Sevilla and pretty much every La Liga game from now on, is a must win game. With English powerhouses Man City in the Champions League as well, Barca fans will be glad to hear that Messi is feeling good, but they would also like to see him start to rediscover his old form in front of goal.