Lionel Messi spoke to the press about Barcelona’s recent form:

We are enjoying ourselves right now. The team is playing good and fast football. We press the opponents high up the field and move the ball really fast when we are in possession. We must take advantage of our current good form, but people must realize it’s impossible to win all the games as easily as we’ve been doing it lately

In other news:

-Football legend Diego Armando Maradona announced yesterday that he will be the new coach of the Argentine national team succeeding Alfio Basile, who resigned recently.

-Barça defeated Benidorm 1-0 away on the first leg of the first round of the Copa del Rey. Pep Guardiola chose to rest most of the team’s regular starters, including Leo Messi, for this game. The goal was scored by Bojan ten minutes into the second period of a match completely controlled by Barcelona.

A fantastic display of football from FC Barcelona ended in a 5-0 victory over Almería tonight at the Camp Nou in the 8th fixture of La Liga.

An on-fire Barça finished off Almería with five goals scored already in the first half. Samuel Eto’o got a hat-trick and Thierry Henry and Dani Alves scored the other two; Leo Messi didn’t score -his two best chances were wrongly ruled out by the referee- but did set up two of Barcelona’s strikes and contributed to the team’s excellent attacking football in the first period. The second half saw the home side lower their intensity and no more goals were added to the score sheet.

This was the ninth straight win for Pep Guardiola’s side, who will next take on Benidorm away on Tuesday in the first leg of the first round of the Copa del Rey.

FC Barcelona cruised to a comfortable 5-0 away win at FC Basel tonight in the third date of the UEFA Champions League’s group stage.

After only 22 minutes of play the scoreline was already 3-0 for Barça, which goes to show how one-sided the game was. Leo Messi got the opening goal after picking up a brilliant pass from Dani Alves, and produced many dangerous moves throughout the whole match. Bojan (2), Busquets and Xavi scored the remaining goals, which means that all five strikes came from players brought up in Barcelona’s youth structure.

Barça head the Group C table with nine points from three games. The Spanish Liga will be back on the weekend, with Pep Guardiola’s team taking on Almería at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

The Spanish first-division football league finally returned from the two-week break due to international encounters, and FC Barcelona maintained their winning ways claiming an important 1-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao.

Pep Guardiola decided to leave Leo Messi on the bench for the entire game. As the coach explained, Lionel was in good condition to play, but he preferred to give him a rest after the demanding games and long trips the Argentine star has been through in the past few days. Xavi was also out of the team due to a slight muscle injury. The game played at Bilbao’s San Mamés stadium was a close affair, with Athletic relying on their traditional spirited style and Barça having to work really hard to get the three points. After a mediocre first half, the second period saw an improvement in Barcelona’s attacking play. In the 63rd minute Thierry Henry made a fine move and set up Samuel Eto’o, who scored the only goal of the night. This win -the team’s fifth in a row- keeps Barça three points behind first-place Valencia CF on the league table. On an unfortunate note, both Keita and Márquez had to leave the pitch injured.

Leo Messi will have a chance to come back into Barça’s line-up on Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League game at FC Basel.

The Chilean national team got their first ever official-match victory over Argentina yesterday in Santiago in the Southamerican World Cup qualifying group.

The team coached by Marcelo Bielsa claimed a deserved win. Argentina’s play lacked organisation and intensity, while the home side were aggresive in their pressing and fast on the attack. Chile missed a number of scoring opportunities, but in the end Orellana’s first-half goal was enough to secure them the points. Leo Messi proved to be the most threatening player on his side, but even so was only able to create a couple of good chances in the entire game.

Chile and Argentina are now level on points (16) on the Southamerican group table after ten games have been played. The next rivals for the Argentinians will be Venezuela (home) and Bolivia (away) in two matches to take place in March 2009.

Argentina got back to winning ways in the 2010 World Cup qualifying stage after goals from Leo Messi and Sergio Agüero gave them a 2-1 victory over Uruguay at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.

The home side had a great start to the game, scoring their two goals in the first twelve minutes. Lionel Messi got the opening goal finishing a Riquelme cross with a header and then it was Kun Aguero who extended the lead. Lugano scored for Uruguay near the end of the first period. Despite suffering many fouls from the opposing defenders, Leo Messi found space and created danger on the right wing in the first half; the FC Barcelona forward had a quiet performance after the break until he was substituted by Daniel Díaz near the end of the match.

Argentina will next take on Chile in a game to be played in Santiago on Wednesday.

A spectacular first-half display from FC Barcelona saw them crush Atletico Madrid on the sixth round of the Spanish Liga yesterday at the Camp Nou.

From the very start of the game Atlético proved themselves completely unable to handle the intensity of Barça’s play. After only eight minutes the score was already 3-0 with goals from Márquez, Eto’o and Messi. Maxi scored for the colchoneros shortly after, but further strikes by Eto’o and Gudjohnsen made the score a stunning 5-1 at the break. The game was obviously over and in the second half Barça reduced the pace of their play. Thierry Henry, who came on substituting Samuel Eto’o, rounded off the night with a beautiful goal.

Leo Messi put in a fantastic performance. He was superb on the ball and made great touches and dribbles, including a brilliant run from the center circle finished with a shot that went inches wide. Lionel scored a sly free-kick and also showed great defensive spirit, winning many balls off the Atlético defenders. The Argentine star was substituted halfway through the second period to a standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd.

After this great victory, Barça will take a two-week break to give way to international matches. Leo Messi will join Argentina’s national side for two World Cup qualifying games against Uruguay and Chile.

Leo Messi spoke to the press after yesterday’s training session at the Camp Nou:

We play in the same way regardless of what particular players are on the pitch, because Barça’s style of play is very collective, rather than based on individual efforts. This makes winning easier

I don’t believe Barça has “Messi-dependence”. We are a team and each of us plays his part in winning games. I think I am well considered in the dressing room and on the pitch, but in the end I’m just like the other players

Kun Agüero and I get along very well, and we enjoy playing together. We’re good friends, but obviously each of us would like his own team to win this Saturday. The debate over which of us is the better player just doesn’t interest me

Lionel Messi scored two goals in the last five minutes of play to lift FC Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk tonight on the second date of the UEFA Champions League’s group phase.

Barça had a mediocre performance, particularly in the first half. Pep Guardiola’s men had most of the possession but their attacking play lacked speed and clarity. Shakhtar had already threatened early on with their counter attacks and eventually opened the score right before the end of the first period when Ilsinho took advantage of a defensive misunderstanding to beat Valdés’s goal.

Guardiola had decided to leave Leo Messi on the bench at the start of the match, but the need to turn the game around forced him to bring the Argentinian star on after 60 minutes. Messi’s presence on the pitch provided spark to Barça’s play, and the team started to create better scoring chances. The goal did not arrive until the 87th minute, when a mistake by Shakhtar’s keeper found Leo Messi on hand to pick up the ball and score the equalizer. Five minutes later a fine pass by Xavi found Messi clear on the left side of the box; Leo lifted the ball brilliantly over the keeper and into the net to get his second goal and give his side the three points.

Barcelona sit at the top of the Group C table with six points from two games. Coming up next for them is an exciting league clash with Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

Enviar por Correo