Lionel Messi, records, and trophies have almost become too synonymous in the football thesaurus. Even during season where he seems far from his level-best, Lionel Messi is easily able to pick up individual trophies.
Last season is an example of the same. While Barcelona fell to second place in La Liga, losing the title to Real Madrid in the process. Despite that, however, Messi broke the record for the most assists in the Spanish top-flight with 21, and was able to secure the Pichichi Award – given to the highest-scoring player in the Spanish league – with 25 goals.
Yesterday, he picked up the trophy, and spoke to Marca during the ceremony.
Isn’t it amazing to have won seven Pichichi trophies?
“The truth is that I would have never imagined that I would win so many and surpass Zarra’s record (six Pichichis). It is a very joyful feeling.”
At the moment you have fewer goals than when you won the Pichichi. Are you already thinking about the 8th trophy?
“I do not know. I am not really thinking about it. It is not something that worries me. I would prefer to win La Liga again, something we didn’t do last season, rather than winning the Pichichi, so we will fight for that.”
This season we have seen a big difference between Barcelona in the Champions League and Barcelona in La Liga. Do you think the team can win both competitions?
“We are going to try and win everything, as is always the case with the club. We are improving little-by-little. It is true to say that it took us a little while to get going in La Liga. We should not have dropped so many points.”
“I think we deserved more in the games against Alaves and Getafe, and also against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. In those three games we created a lot of goalscoring chances, and if we had converted them, the situation in those games would have been different.”
Is there a formula to get back on the right path in La Liga?
“Now the important think is to have a streak of good results in a few games order to move up the table. This takes time and with the pandemic all the games are very difficult. The truth is football has changed a lot, and it’s difficult for everyone, but step-by-step things will settle.”
It has been nine months of empty stadiums in the pandemic. Is it hard for you to play without fans?
“Yes, very. It’s horrible to play without fans. It’s not a nice feeling. Not seeing anyone in the stadium makes it like training, and it takes a lot to get into the game at the beginning. That’s why we see such even games. It’s very hard to win whoever you are playing against.”
“The pandemic has caused football to change a lot, and for the worse. We are seeing it in games. Hopefully, after all this is over, we can get people back into the stadiums and get back to normal.”
You recently scored a special goal after which you paid tribute to Diego Maradona, how did you feel?
“It was a very special day and I was able to pay a little tribute that I had prepared. I was able to show his jersey. It’s a wonderful memory on a day which represents Diego no longer being with us.”
Report: Barcelona accept defeat in pursuit of Inter Milan striker
According to reports from Corriere della Sera (relayed by SempreInter), Barcelona have now given up on their pursuit of Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season upfront with Romelu Lukaku, and he is a hot prospect in Europe. He has several skills that make him suited to a team like Barça, who have been chasing him for over a year now.
Inter were initially demanding northwards of €100m for the striker before the start of the 20/21 season. With their financial struggles, the Catalan club were unable to cope with their demands. However, the rumours linking Martinez to Barça did not die down in the months that followed. This is due to the Blaugrana’s dire need for a striker.
The Garnet and the Blue have been considering several options, with the Argentinian striker being only one out of a talented bunch including Aguero, Depay, Haaland, and more. Martinez was hotly tipped to join Barça, apparently wanting a union with his fellow Argentine teammate Lionel Messi.
However, with Inter’s meteoric rise to success, and Martinez’ key role in the team, it seems that he is no longer going to leave the club. The Milan based club is head and shoulders above all other teams in the Serie A, and look set to win their first title in eleven years.
The Argentine forward has played a huge part in Inter’s incredible campaign, scoring fifteen and assisting five in 30 matches this league campaign.
Antonio Conte has done a brilliant job with Inter, and he has also developed Martinez into a phenomenal striker; one who can both score goals as well as drop deep and create the play. With his immense pairing with Lukaku and the inevitable success of Inter, it seems impossible that a transfer is on the card for the young striker any time soon.