20 February 2012

Lionel Messi: "I have the confidence of those that matter, that makes me happy"

The Argentine striker, who scored four goals tonight against Valencia, called on his manager, Pep Guardiola, to stay at the Barça helm next season. The players highlighted the group’s unity and they hope to continue on form in the future.

After putting in a majestic performance against Valencia, scoring four of Barça’s five goals (5-1), Lionel Messi said, “the truth is that I’ve been very calm. My teammates, manager and the people that are important to me have confidence in me, and that makes me happy,” said the Azulgrana player.

Despite his personal goal tally, the Argentine talked about the team’s effort tonight: “it was a bit difficult for us at the start, we started losing. But what’s really important is that we had a good game and we played well.”

Messi said that the team needs to keep on form for the rest of the season: “it’s important that the team has found its form again, like we did in Germany. We have to keep on playing like this, important games are coming up.”

The Barça squad asks their manager to stay

The Argentine start also talked about Guardiola’s possible contract renewal: “the manager knows what we think, but he will make his decision at the appropriate time. Obviously, we all want him to stay at Barça because, to us, he’s very important.”

Here are the statements made by Barça players after the match against Valencia:

Cristian Tello:

“Messi doesn’t stop. He is and will continue to be the best player in the world.

“I’m happy for the confidence the manager gives me.

“It was a very good game. This team won’t stop and we’ll keep on fighting until the end.

“It was a spectacular game, we created a lot of goalscoring chances, but Valencia’s keeper had a great game.”

Andrés Iniesta:

“We always try to offer up a good performance. The truth is that we have to keep on winning three points each game and hope that Madrid falters.

“The team needs to play like this to aspire to the three titles.

“It’s not easy making a comeback, but the team reacted well.

“We have to keep on enjoying Messi, and he needs to keep on enjoying the team.

“It’s difficult to maintain this level of play in all of our matches, but we feel similar to how we felt in past seasons. Despite everything, it’s true that we’ve lost points.

“The team is eager to do a good job.

“[Real Madrid] has an important advantage over us and we cannot allow ourselves to make any more mistakes.”

On Guardiola’s possible contract extension: “I hope that he renews and that he stays with us for a long time. He has to decide and he knows that the team wants him to stay. That’s everyone’s wish.

“Guardiola is eager. We have a lot of beautiful things still yet to see.”

Pedro Rodríguez:

“I would like to highlight the team’s work, it was very good, we created a lot of clear chances and we got a good result.

“Perhaps we didn’t have the luck in front of goal in past matches that we had tonight against Valencia.

“We have to going game by game and not lose anymore points.

“The team is doing very well, we’re happy and excited. We want to do something great.

“We were playing against Valencia, we’re extremely happy for tonight’s victory.

“I honestly don’t know what to say about Lionel Messi [anymore].

“I feel better physically and I’m confident. I need to improve.”

Martín Montoya:

“The boss warned us of the dangers of Valencia’s left wing, I think we managed it pretty well.

“I’m happy, it’s a very positive thing for me to play another Liga match. I hope to have more minutes on the pitch.

“We played like always. The best players of the world play here.” (via FCBarcelona.com)