Pep Guardiola has thrown all his weight behind Messi to answer the critics who had begun to doubt the abilities of “La Pulga” after just one poor performance for Barcelona at the Mestalla. In a press conference yesterday, the coach had a special mention of Lionel Messi and the debate that has arisen about his fitness, after the criticism he received while playing for Argentina and the weak performance that was shown on Saturday at the Mestalla.
In the press conference, several questions were raised regarding Messi’s fitness, commitment to the club and his ability to handle the enormous pressure thrust upon him by the fans. Besides the Valencia game, Messi has also been receiving flak for his performances for Argentina in the recent World Cup qualifiers, with many accusing him of not putting as much effort for the country as he puts for his club.
Guardiola waved all off discussions on this topic, saying, “He is carrying a great weight to be the best in the world, but it does not affect him. It’s the same here as in Argentina and I can assure you that I have seen few with as much personality as he has. He would say ‘give me the ball, I’m here to resolve this’ “.
Guardiola reminded that “not long ago Leo played spectacular football” and he does not understand how one questions a football player, until recently, was indisputable. “Messi can play poorly one, two, three, four, as often as he pleases. I am here to offer him a hand, two if necessary,” he declared.