Leo Messi has been quick to stand up and defend himself against the criticism he has recently received after his recent performances. The Argentine took time off from his busy training schedule to appear on an interview with the BBC to assure that he feels good and motivated, and sent a message of optimism to his fans regarding the upcoming World Cup.
The 26-year-old returned last month from his second injury of the season.
He said in an interview: “I’m very well, full of energy and with 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.”
The Barca superstar is seemingly very excited about the summer World Cup in Brazil.
He said: “I hope this could be a great year not only for me but also for Barcelona and for Argentina.
“I think this World Cup arrives at a good time for Argentina. We have grown as a team on and off the pitch. We have a great bunch of lads that love to play for our country. I think we will get to Brazil in a great shape and with all the chances in the world.
“It will be extra special, well above all the other World Cups – it is in Brazil, with everything that means for us. Our supporters will be there in their thousands and with them behind us I’m sure we can achieve something very, very special.”
One of the biggest worries at Can Barça right now is Messi. The Argentine is a shadow of his former self and he has struggled for form since he returned from injury.
His goal drought probably has something to do with Tata Martino’s decision to change his position. Messi is playing deeper, in more of a passing role than a goalscoring one, although he has found the back of the net whenever he has seen a clear-cut opening. However, Messi was quick to deny any trouble at Barca.
“Every season is a new challenge,” said Messi. “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.”
However, regardless of Messi’s claims, What stands out at this point in the season is that the Argentine has only scored 19 goals in all competitions. Of those, only nine have come in the league, far short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 22 goals. Even two of his own teammates have scored more than him: Alexis Sánchez (13) and Pedro Rodríguez (12).