Cesc and Messi celebrate after scoring against Osasuna. Photo: Miguel Ruiz. FCB

Leo Messi is the footballer of the moment. First, he surpassed Kubala as Barça’s second all-time highest goal scorer and now, with back to back hat-tricks, he’s beyond the 200 goal mark as an Azulgrana. He’s the leader of a legendary team. This Thursday, he explained the key factors behind Barça’s success: “It’s fundamental that we get along as a team, to have a group of players that play this well isn’t easy to find. We’ve known each other for years and we’ve always gotten along, this is why we’ve performed so well.”

Good vibes with Villa

The double Ballon d’Or winner categorically denied the claim, made by a Valencia newspaper, that there was a rift between him and David Villa. “It really surprised both of us. I have no idea why this story was published. The fact of the matter is that I don’t have a problem with El Guaje, not at all. We get along great, just like we do with the rest of the squad. Neither of us have anything to say about this, we’re not worried about it because we know it’s not true,” added Messi.

Goal record, out of mind

Messi feels as though he can maintain the excellent form he’s showed since the beginning of the season, 22 goals in 17 matches. “I feel great physically, strong enough to play as many games as possible, like last year,” said Messi. The Argentinian, despite edging closer and closer to César’s goal record, isn’t obsessing about reaching 235 goals this season: “I’m not aiming to break the record this year. I hope to do it someday seeing that I want to stay here for the rest of my career.”

What’s really on the Argentinian’s mind is the upcoming game in San Mamés. “The most important thing is to win the three points this weekend because it’s a very difficult stadium to win at. The opponent [Athletic Bilbao] is a great team, they study their rivals in depth, and they aren’t afraid to take the game to you,” added Messi.

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