The Argentinean, who was initially ruled out, bounced back from the flu to score two goals in 35 minutes. Despite the favorable result the team does not believe the tie is over.
FC Barcelona all but sealed passage to the next round of the King’s Cup after the 4-0 drubbing of Osasuna tonight. Cesc and Messi each scored a brace. Even though it appeared as if Leo Messi might miss the match hours before kickoff due to the flu, the Argentinean was named to the squad and started the game on the bench. This was the first time that Messi has played in a year-opening match for Barça, and with only 35 minutes at his disposal he scored two goals.
Barça’s number 10 explained that despite feeling sick this morning, he bounced back in time to play: “I only had stomach pain, but I wasn’t vomiting and my fever broke. Seeing that we don’t push ourselves too hard during game-day training sessions, I thought it best not to train.”
On the game, Messi is clear that the 4-0 is not a definitive result and that the team doesn’t believe that the tie is decided. “It’s a good result going into Pamplona, because we know that it’s not an easy field and they are strong at home. Visiting teams have a really hard time winning, that’s why we needed to put in a good performance here,” Messi explained.
“It’s a good result at home, but we still have 90 minutes to play and they are very strong at home.”
“It looked as though Messi couldn’t play, but whenever he comes in he does a good job. He wants it, he has ambition and he scored two goals today. We’re really happy that he’s on form because it benefits all of us.”
“I try to play and adapt to the position. It’s complicated for me but I’m trying to help the team and take maximum advantage of my time on the pitch.”
“I believe we had good tempo during the match. When we didn’t have the ball we pressured well, with a lot of intensity. After 15 days (on holiday) maybe we weren’t at our best, but the team’s attitude was the correct one.”
“It’s an important advantage but we can’t assume the tie is over. If we do, we could have a bad time in Pamplona. We know the tie isn’t over, last year we almost lost to Betis in Seville. It's a good example that nothing is easy.”
“We had a game in which we had to put an important effort in to ensure a good result. We played an overall complete game and we’ve made an important step in getting to the next round.”
“The game next Sunday is a difficult one, it’s the derby and these types of games are always complicated. We’ll face the game with ambition. If we play at a high level, they’ll have a difficult time too.”(via FCBarcelona.cat)