Leo Messi featured in the Barça TV programme ‘El Marcador’ after the game against Sevilla, where he spoke about the defeat away to AC Milan and Tuesday’s Copa del Rey return leg against Real Madrid in the Camp Nou. He insisted that the best way to prepare for the busy schedule of key matches coming up is not to hold himself back: “For years now I’ve been used to playing a lot of matches. My body feels better if it doesn’t rest”. The Argentine forward is the Spanish league’s top scorer with 38 goals, but he emphasised: “The most important thing is to win matches. If I can help with goals, then that’s always better”.

El Clássico an early final

Tuesday’s Cup game is one of the most important matches of the season so far and the 1-1 draw from the first leg leaves the tie – and a place in the final - wide open: “We have to be at our best against Real Madrid because otherwise we won’t get through the tie”. He’s determined to forget about any controversy hanging over from the first leg in the Bernabeu. “The only thing I’m thinking about right now is for myself and the team to put in a good performance and reach the final. What other people say doesn’t affect me in the least”. He confirmed that Barça will be .looking for a win on Tuesday night: “In front of our own fans we don’t have any other option than to go for a win against Real el Madrid; we can’t start thinking that a goalless draw would see us through”.

The setback in Milan

Messi summed up the mood ahead of Tuesday’s game: “We mustn’t drive ourselves crazy about the result in Milan or the first half against Sevilla. We have to pull ourselves together because there are some decisive games coming up”. And he pointed to Barça’s record over the last few years. “The dynamic of competitive football doesn’t allow us to enjoy what this team is achieving, but maybe in the future it will be given the credit it deserves”.

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