Friday February 7 2014
'Messi's losing the passion'

Former Barcelona assistant Angel Cappa has hit out at Lionel Messi for his ‘lack of passion’.

The 67-year-old, who worked with Cesar Luis Menotti at Camp Nou, has claimed that the Argentine sensation has lost his love for the game.

“To play football you need to be brimming over with passion, like what Messi had, what the great players had, Maradona... Any key player in Primera División, Xavi, [Andrés] Iniesta, [Sergio] Busquets, needs an enormous amount of passion,” he told Esports en Xarxa.

 “You need the kind of energy that comes from an absolute love of the game.

“In the Copa del Rey semi-final [first leg against Real Sociedad] he participated a little bit more, but in the match against Valencia I couldn’t understand how a player could play football with so little passion.

“Particularly Messi - if you look at one of his games from three or four years ago, you see that passion he had for playing. I don’t know why he is losing these things.

“I don’t know if it’s because of the injury or whatever it is, but he looks a bit switched off to me. He looks like he’s doing his professional duty.

“When people say that a player is a great professional, I would prefer them to say that they’re a great amateur, because an amateur feels football in their guts and plays with that passion. If a player [only] does his professional duty, he stops performing.

“He lacks that love for the game, that passion that makes him go looking for it on the left and on the right, take players on, beat one, two. Messi looks to me like he’s lost that.

“He has extraordinary quality, he’s a phenomenon, and at any moment he can do something phenomenal, but it’s as if he has been married to football for 15 years and now he’s bored.”

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