Barcelona are back on form, and their dynamic Brazilian full-back believes that Messi deserves much of the credit.

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup: Daniel Alves, Brazil v South Africa (PA)

Daniel Alves believes that Lionel Messi should complete a clean sweep of player of the year awards after a impressive 12 months with Barcelona.

The Brazilian believes that his team-mate is the best in the world. Messi helped the Blaugrana to win a unique treble last term and continued to grow in stature.

This season has seen no change in the young Argentine. He has returned to form for Barca and on Tuesday night shone once more, with two goals and an assist against Racing Santander.

“To be the best in the world, you have to be different, and Messi is in every match. We’re hoping he wins all the awards as best player,” Alves was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.

Alves believes that as well as Messi returning to form, the team is also beginning to play like they did at their height last term.

“We’re rediscovering the tone that perhaps we lacked at the beginning. We are improving all the time, which is our aim,” he continued.

“We moved the ball more and created more chances, as well as scoring goals, which is the most important [thing]. The guys up front played very well.”


The Argentine is happy with how the Blaugrana played against Racing…

Barcelona brushed Racing Santander aside at El Sardinero last night, with Lionel Messi bagging two goals either side of half time in the 4-1 victory.

The 22-year-old, who recently signed a new deal with the club, is very happy with how things are going, but denied claims that teams were rolling over for the Blaugrana.

“We have to work every game and no one is giving us anything,” he told Sport.

“From the kick off, we go out to win the match by playing our game right until the end. This is our mentality.

“Last night the team played a great game by having the calmness of keeping the ball at all times and playing at pace. There are always things to improve on – yesterday we did better compared to how we played against Atletico Madrid.

“We had the order that we lost against Atletico, and we had the ball. In the second half against Atletico, we allowed them to have a bit more of the ball and did not pressure them as we did in the first half, but last night we recovered our usual style.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also among the goalscorers last night, and Messi believes there will be more to come from the Swede when he finds himself on the same wavelength as the rest of the team.

“We are still getting to know ‘Ibra’, even though adapting is easy because of the quality he has. I have to know his movements and vice versa. Little by little, we will understand each other better.”

Argentina may not be performing up to their usual lofty standards, but the midfielder does not want one player singled out for blame…

Juan Sebastian Veron – Argentina

Juan Sebastian Veron has leapt to the defence of his international team-mate Lionel Messi after the Barcelona star was accused of not playing as well for Argentina as he does for his club.

The Albiceleste have it all to do in order to qualify for the World Cup Finals after losing their two recent qualifiers and questions have been asked about why they are faltering.

Along with coach Diego Maradona, Messi has come under the spotlight with some accusing him of not putting in the same type of performances that he does for Barca.

“Messi cannot do everything,” the former Manchester United and Chelsea playmaker said.

“Barca play in a different way, with lost of quick passes.

“There are players that are not at the same level as him in the national team.

“There are a lot of great players though, but the coach has yet to find the winning team.”

Some of you had already noticed a new layout in the Spanish version of the site. Well, this is to announce that we are launching the new layout in the English part today. Our webmaster Juan had been working on the design for a while and now it’s finally up and running in both languages and in the forum part as well. The structure, links and sections of this site will stay the same; the intention was mainly to give it a “change of look”, introducing a more attractive and colourful design. We have incorporated the colours of FC Barcelona, Leo Messi’s current club, and maintained the “Argentinian” sky-blue and white.

There’s a very small change we have also made to the site’s operation. Lately we had noticed an increasing number of inappropriate comments in a few of the posts; this problem mainly affecting the Spanish part of the site. In order to get better control of this situation, we have decided to turn comment moderation on for articles older than ten days. This means the comments to older articles will have to be approved before being published on the site. The comments to the newer articles will keep appearing straight away, the same way they have always done.

Everything should be working fine from the start, but if you notice any errors, malfunctioning, or just anything out of place, please let us know.

We really hope you like the changes and keep enjoying this site

All those who tried to access the site anytime since yesterday until a few hours ago surely noticed the whole site was down. This was due to a hardware failure on the JaguarPC server in which the site is located. One of the disks failed and it had to be replaced. The data restoring process took all day.

We apologize for the inconvenience. We will try to prevent this from hapenning again, although it is not in our hands.

We wanted to take advantage of this space to desire to all the people who visit this website a very good end of year. I hope you can pass it with the affections of the people who you love and have a 2006 much better.

Celebrate a lot and enjoy

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