‘We easily forget Messi’s greatness’

Jordi Roura has reflected that for Lionel Messi’s achievements, his easy manner at Barcelona has most forgetting his greatness.

The Argentine became the first footballer in history to receive four Ballon d’Ors with the award of the 2012 edition this week, to cap a memorable 2012 where he also broke a number of important records.

“We must emphasise the importance of what Messi has achieved, it is historic. It is a huge thing, but seeing him day to day with his naturalness and normality, you forget the greatness that he has achieved,” reflected Roura, who was taking the pre-Copa del Rey conference in place of the absent Tito Vilanova.

“La Masia having provided these players? There’s Andres, Pique, Xavi…and it is a great pride to have the Ballon d’Or and to see five players in the World XI.

“From the point of view of the youth academy, it is a luxury, an honour. It is the fruit of many years of working to an idea. The club and all the people who have worked on it have to be happy and proud.”

The assistant Coach was talking ahead of Barca’s second leg Copa del Rey clash with Cordoba at Camp Nou.

“Although it seems that the tie is resolved [with Barca leading 2-0 on aggregate], there are very recent examples of the difficulty of this type of game.

“We would like that the ground be full for the game and that the supporters enjoy how we play the game.”

Messi is named in the squad where the likes of Gerard Pique, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez are rested.

“Everyone knows that Leo wants to play every game and that is another incentive, it is part of his greatness. We have spoken and are looking for the best option possible. You know I will never say the team before the game though, tomorrow we will decide if he starts or is on the bench.”

Nor would Roura confirm David Villa’s involvement.

“There is nothing for him to prove. We’re not going to discover the sort of player he is now. For us he is a very important player of great quality. We have training tomorrow and we will see if he is in the team.

“He is returning from a major injury and his work is commendable. He will return to his level and will be the great player that he is.

“He’s working hard and is strong, he improves daily. We have no doubt that gradually he will be back to 100 per cent.”

Tags Ballon d'Or Cordoba Messi Roura Villa