Barcelona vs Inter Spoke to media after Inter win
Lionel Messi has admitted that Barcelona‘s pre-season tour has had a negative effect on their start to the season.
Ernesto Valverde‘s squad travelled to both Japan and the United States during the summer, with many using the air miles as a reason behind the team’s slow start to the campaign.
Messi himself returned from injury during Barcelona‘s win over Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
“We needed to win because it’s a difficult group,” he said afterwards.
“We drew the first match and winning at home is very important to progress first of all.
“It was tough because they’re a great team, especially in the first half, but after the break the pressing was better, more organised, tighter and with a calmer head with started to manage the game and create chances.
“It was difficult because Inter put lots of men behind the ball, but we tried it and luckily the goals and the win came.”
There have been some reports of player unrest within the Barcelona camp, but Messi insisted he and his teammates are pulling in the same direction.
“We’re fine, it was important to win today, but it’s a day for us to speak about the win,” he noted.
“We also [won] at Getafe, which is a difficult place to go, and we’ve still got [to play] Sevilla to end this run.
“We will try to win so as to not create this trouble that comes about when there is no football and there are lots of days to talk.”
Antoine Griezmann revealed on Tuesday that he doesn’t speak to Messi much because of the Argentine’s quiet personality, but the Barcelona captain insisted that the two get on well.
“Obviously we don’t have any problems; there’s a good relationship between everyone in the dressing room, we are united,” Messi explained.
“We knew that the time wasn’t the best, that we needed this win to get back on track so that we can go forwards now.
“We’ve won two important matches and let’s hope it stays like this, it was tough to get started but we hope to continue rising.
“We’re on this path, we knew that we were having a difficult moment, but if we look at the rest of Europe, it’s tough for every team to start, for pre-season, we’re slow, I’m not finding excuses but it’s reality.”
Barcelona have already lost two matches in LaLiga Santander and Messi suggested that their poor start to the season could be down to the demanding summer schedule.
“When you travel you don’t train well,” he said.
“We returned and we left [again], you don’t work well and we didn’t have a training base, but we’re improving, we’re going to get going, but it’s not a criticism, it’s reality.
“It’s understandable that the club puts on these [pre-season] games, all the big clubs do it and it’s necessary, little by little we’re going to adapt to the competition.
Messi made just his second start of the season against Inter and he says that he’s getting back to match sharpness.
“[I’m] trying to start, they’re the first 90 minutes I’ve been able to complete, [I’m] happy to end well, tired and lacking in rhythm, but once the games go by, I will get going, I’m used to playing and managing my matches,” he added.
“We don’t train much because we’re playing two games a week and there isn’t time. I feel better when I’m playing and when I have a run of games.”