‘We’ve been spoiled by Messi’

Andoni Zubizarreta believes criticism of Lionel Messi is because the Barcelona forward has set such high standards in his career.

According to AS, Zubi gave an interview to Spanish television in which he also discussed the three-way La Liga title race.

Regarding Messi, Zubizarreta said there is no concern over his performances, with the reason some observers feel Messi is performing below par because he reached such heights previously.

“There’s nothing wrong with Messi, only that we’ve been spoiled by him,” Zubizarreta said.

“He’s happy with the club and his teammates, he’s training well and he’s physically well. He knows football gives you challenges each week.

“[Contract talks] are going reasonably well. I say that to avoid the noise.”

Zubizarreta added that he isn’t concerned with the team’s style under Tata Martino either, but acknowledged that the Copa del Rey had taken on greater significance.

“We want the team to be faithful to its way of playing. But it’s clear the Cup is important to us,” he confirmed.

“The great player we need [to play as a forward] is Leo. We aren’t a team to play with a fixed No. 9. We need a more dynamic player in that position.

“When we had a pure No. 9 we never used him as such. Our style isn’t to have a fixed player up there.

“We had 80% of possession [against Granada] and ended up missing out on chances we created. We should have won and by a few goals.

“This team has a great present and a great future, I’m totally convinced.”

Tags Andoni Zubizarreta Lionel Messi