Messi: A year of blows

Lionel Messi has reflected on how Barcelona’s League success last year was a highlight during a ‘year of blows’, the worst of which was Tito Vilanova’s relapse.

The Catalans equalled the points record to win La Liga last term, but saw their Coach absent for a period to undergo treatment for throat cancer.

Vilanova has subsequently had to resign in seeing the illness return once more and as his Argentine striker reflected in picking up an award this week, the Coach’s struggle has been the team’s.

“It was a complicated season despite winning La Liga,” commented Messi to Goal this week.

“The League is an important prize because it is the result of the work of an entire year, but we had many blows and things which affected us – injuries, other things which minimised our ability to react and, regrettably, Tito's illness.

“The best moment of the year was, undoubtedly, when we knew that we were champions mathematically.

“The worst, without doubt, was the relapse suffered by our coach, Tito Vilanova.”

Messi was talking after being handed the ‘Goal 50’ award, voted as the website’s best player of the last year.

“I'm very excited about this. As players, we work the entire year to win honours for the team, we don't look for the individual awards, but when they come it's an incentive and gives us strength to continue on the same path.

“I am approaching the season with great enthusiasm and great optimism. Like I always do.”

Tags Messi Vilanova