In an interview on UEFA’s Champions magazine, Lionel Messi discusses aspects of his own game and shares some of his views on football:

If it’s a good goal because it was preceded by a good move, I might celebrate it a bit more. But if I get a rebound and score in the very last minute of a derby, I’ll celebrate like it was the most amazing goal. I don’t know if I can recall every detail, but I do remember almost all of my goals

Ronaldinho, Deco, and Juan Verón, when I’m with the national team, always tell me I should dribble when I’m near the area and pass when I’m further away, otherwise opponents can foul me knowing I won’t get a dangerous free-kick or a penalty. I do try to take their advice, but the trouble is I really like playing with the ball at my feet

It’s good to play beautiful football. And it is a constant temptation with team-mates such as Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Xavi, Deco, Henry… The trick is to make it effective

You can find the full text in our interviews section.

Source: UEFA’s Champions magazine
Date: 25 January 2008
Link: Original article

Lionel Messi’s fans are not just paying spectators. Juan Sebastián Véron says: “I see Maradona every time he grabs the ball and accelerates. But he is shy, like a little brother who likes to hang out with PlayStation rather than talk. We must protect him. I’d personally put him in a drawer of my bedside table.”
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I think Ronaldinho is not being treated fairly, considering all that he has given to the club. He’s working hard, doing two daily training sessions, and I can see he’s eager to return. Having him back will be very important for the team.

Real Madrid have been winning all their games, even some difficult ones. But I don’t think they will be able to win all 18 games left until the end of the league. They will lose games. That’s what happened to Barça last season; we lost some games and Madrid got ahead of us.

What matters is that we are winning our games, even without playing attractive football. When the team starts to play well again, victories will come even more easily.

-Lionel Messi

A first-half goal scored by Thierry Henry after a corner kick was enough for FC Barcelona to get the three points from their league game against Racing Santander yesterday at the Camp Nou. It was a boring match in which a well organized Racing lacked sufficient attacking power to create danger while Barça showed their more pragmatic side and for the most part focused on keeping their lead.

The best news of the night was provided by Leo Messi, who came back to play after having recovered from a muscle injury. The Argentinian forward, who came on substituting Giovani in the 65th minute, added pace and spark to his team’s offensive game in his time on the pitch.

The next game for Barça will see them face Villarreal in midweek in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.

35 days after picking up a muscle injury in a match against Valencia, today Lionel Messi has finally been given the all-clear by the FC Barcelona doctors. Messi, who had already been training with his team-mates in the last couple of days, has been included in the squad of players for Sunday’s league game against Racing Santander.

Oleguer, Messi and keeper José Manuel Pinto -who has just been signed from Celta Vigo after the serious injury suffered by Albert Jorquera- are the three new faces in Frank Rijkaard’s list. On the other hand, Ronaldinho has not recovered from his physical problems yet and remains out, while both Toure Yaya and Samuel Eto’o have left to play the African Cup of Nations. The complete squad is: Valdés, Pinto, Zambrotta, Oleguer, Puyol, Milito, Thuram, Márquez, Sylvinho, Abidal, Deco, Xavi, Iniesta, Gudjohnsen, Giovani, Bojan, Henry and Messi.

Barcelona got a conclusive win (4-0) over Murcia yesterday at the Camp Nou to wrap up the first half of this season’s Spanish league. The blaugranas, who have obtained 40 points in the 19 games played thus far and occupy the second spot on the table, will hope to catch up with current leaders Real Madrid in the second part of the competition.

The local side’s play lacked fluidity in the first half of yesterday’s game; still, they were able to open the score as Eidur Gudjohnsen found the net after 26 minutes. The second period saw Barça’s attack improve significantly, driven by a great performance from Thierry Henry. Bojan Krkic and Samuel Eto’o(2) scored the team’s other three goals. The striker from Cameroon played his last game for Barcelona before leaving to play the African Cup of Nations.

Next up for Barça is the return leg of their Copa del Rey round-of-sixteen tie against Sevilla, to be played at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi keeps making satisfactory progress in his recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered in a game against Valencia on December 15th. The Argentinian forward is training daily under the supervision of FC Barcelona trainer Juanjo Brau, and the high intensity of his work indicates that his return to the first team is close.

According to Diario Sport, Leo could be joining the group’s training and getting the medical all-clear near the end of next week, five weeks after having picked up the injury.

On another note, FC Barcelona and Sevilla drew (1-1) in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie, played at the Sanchez Pizjuán stadium on Wednesday. The return match will be played at the Camp Nou next Tuesday.

20.00 CET – Mallorca vs. Barcelona
Ono Estadi, Mallorca

FC Barcelona will face Real Mallorca tonight at the Ono Estadi in the first Spanish league game of the year.

Frank Rijkaard’s squad has some notable absences due to injuries, mainly affecting the attack. Ronaldinho -suffering a left knee tendinitis- and Lionel Messi, who is recovering from a hamstring tear, are both out of the list for the game. With regard to Messi’s injury, Barça doctors have confirmed that the recovery is progressing very well and that they expect to give Leo the all-clear around the 20th of January.

Iniesta, Eto’o and Henry -who is back in the squad after having been sidelined for several weeks- will most likely start in Barça’s attack as the team seeks to get the three points and avoid moving further away from the league top.

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