Former Barcelona midfielder and current Camp Nou boss admitted his captain had a spell of bad luck at the weekend as the Blaugrana side suffered an unexpected 1-0 loss to Getafe in La Liga.
The new Barca coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi’s performances “could be better” following the side’s defeat by Getafe at the weekend, two weeks after they drew 1-1 at home against Sevilla before the international break.
This has placed the Blaugrana in ninth place in the Spanish top flight with seven points, though they have two games in hand over league leaders Real Sociedad, who have 11 points and Koeman has been candid in admitting that his captain and talisman has not been at his customary best in recent weeks.
“Maybe, at the moment, Messi’s performances could be better,” said the Dutchman.
“But he is happy, he is working hard and he wants to be the captain.
“I don’t have a single complaint. He has also had some bad luck; he hit the post [against Getafe] and on another day that goes in.
“I don’t have any doubts about his performances and we’re going to see him [at his best] in the upcoming games, I’m sure.”
Messi’s contract at the Nou Camp expires next summer, after having showed his total disenchantment and displeasure with the Barca board and tried to force an exit in August – only to back down due to his desire to avoid taking his club to court.
Fellow forward and best mate Luis Suarez did leave not long after, joining La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid last month after being deemed surplus to requirements supposedly by Koeman.
The Barca talisman immediately ramped up the guns in his public denunciation of the board’s and, tacitly, Koeman’s treatment of bosom buddy and strike partner exit with the Argentina captain’s relationship with Koeman seeming frosty at best.
Barca next take on Ferencvaros in their Champions League group-stage opener on Tuesday evening in what the Spanish media have billed as the ‘Barca Revenge’.
That game is followed by El Clasico at home to rivals and La Liga champions Real Madrid in the Spanish top flight on Saturday.
Let’s wait and see what the Barca talisman has up his sleeves for these two games.