Lionel Messi has spoken about his hamstring troubles and confirmed that he expects to back in the New Year without any problems.
In an interview with Argentine radio programme Perros de la Calle, the Barcelona star also discussed his national side’s chances of winning next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“I’m relaxed about the injury but it’s been tough because of the nature of it and it’s a long time to be out. But I’m relaxed as I’m now going to take care of myself and return in good shape in January.
“I’ll try to keep on playing as I have until now and make sure I don’t get any more injuries again. When I first got injured many people said a few things about me so I want to show I’m in good spirits.
“I’m off to Argentina shortly and I’ll continue my recovery there. I’m sad I’m injured but at the same time I’m happy I get the chance to go home.
“As for the World Cup, we still need to improve in some areas but I think we’ll be ready when it comes around.
“The favourites are Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and Argentina. We are always contenders and the players and coaching staff are really excited about it. We hope we can win it,” he added.
Messi also had time to talk about Tata Martino, his boss at club level.
“In addition to everything he knows about football, Tata is a phenomenal guy. He’s a fantastic person and when he speaks you should always listen.
“My opinion of him before he came was high and when he arrived he was just like I thought he’d be,” said Messi, who was asked about his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We’ve never swapped shirts. He’s never asked for mine,” he replied.