Lionel Messi – Barcelona must improve a lot

Lionel Messi believes Barcelona ‘need to improve a lot’ and need a reaction to their sluggish start to the campaign.

The Blaugrana have picked up just one point from their opening three La Liga away games – suffering defeats at Athletic Club Bilbao and Granada, while only earning a point at Osasuna.

Messi also said that he struggled for fitness in the defeat at Granada following his return from injury while praising 16-year-old Ansu Fati.

“We have started badly, we are struggling to create and the opposition are generating chances against us easily,” Messi said on Monday after winning The Best award, as cited by ESPN FC.

“It is just the start of the season but we need a reaction now. There is no time to waste. We have to improve a lot. We are aware of that.

“It had been two, nearly three months without playing and you could tell, the other day I felt tired and sluggish. I didn't have that spark. I was lacking a bit of rhythm.

“I'll get better the more games and minutes I play, but there's no rush. It hasn't been worth taking any risks because I was told [by the club doctors] there was a chance of a relapse."

“Ansu Fati? He impressed me the first day I saw him train, he caught my attention immediately. He has great quality, but we can't put too much pressure or responsibility on him.

“We [the players] have to help him and make sure the noise surrounding him doesn't impede his growth. He's got what it takes to be an important player for the club.”

Tags Lionel Messi