Giovani dos Santos believes criticism levelled at his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi has been blown out of proportion.
The Villarreal forward has defended Messi and said he has been put under an unfair spotlight.
“Messi is the best in the world. Everything that’s been said is exaggerated and out of control,” Sport reports dos Santos as saying.
“The problem is that he has spoiled everyone by always playing at a greater level and now he’s had a bit of a slump.
“He has given a lot to Barca, so where are the thanks?”
Barca meet the Yellow Submarine this weekend and dos Santos insisted that Villarreal are preparing for Barca as normal despite the Catalans’ recent poor results.
“You can’t trust the form of Barca. The League is the only trophy they have left and they are going to throw everything at it,” the Mexican predicted.
“We know how important it is that we play in Europe and we want to certify our place with this game.
“We’ll play with great intensity and we need to defend at our best, be fast on the counter and mark very well their best players.
“Lately Barca aren’t well, they’re suffering in defence and we hope to build on that. Despite this, though, they’re very dangerous.”