• Spain's news in English

Milan can expect Messi magic: Barça's Pedro

AFP · 5 Nov 2013, 09:19

Published: 05 Nov 2013 09:19 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The four-time World Player of the Year has endured a frustrating month on the domestic front.

Messi has failed to find the net in his last four La Liga games against Osasuna, Real Madrid, Celta Vigo and Espanyol since returning from a thigh injury, marking his longest goal drought for over two years.

However, in the Champions League, Messi has been his usual deadly self with four goals in two appearances so far this season and Pedro doesn't see any cause for concern.

"There is nothing wrong with him, he is training very well and very strongly," he said on Monday.

"His figures are spectacular and when he goes two games without scoring it seems like there is something up. He is always the one who makes the difference.

"Leo is always an ambitious player who wants to score a lot of goals. He looks fine to me, the goals will arrive and even more so if you are Leo Messi, the best player in the world.

"He is working hard and also assisting his teammates, which might go unnoticed. I think he is very calm because he knows the goals will come and everything will be fine."

Messi was the inspirational figure as Barca overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit when the two sides met in the last-16 of the Champions League last season with a 4-0 thrashing of the Italians at the Camp Nou.

And he also netted in the 1-1 draw in the two sides first meeting in the group in Milan two weeks ago.

That point strengthened Barca's position as group leaders on seven points after three games and a win on Wednesday will guarantee their place in the last-16.

The only injury worries for Barca boss Gerardo Martino are in defence as Adriano and Gerard Pique both missed training on Monday.

With Jordi Alba also still out with a thigh problem, Martin Montoya may have to deputise again at left-back with Carles Puyol likely to return should Pique not be fit in time.

Barca's minor worries about Messi pale into insignificance compared to Milan's current troubles as they have made their worst start to a Serie A campaign since 1981-82.

Saturday's defeat to Fiorentina was already Milan's fifth of the season so far, leaving them a whopping 19 points behind leaders Roma after just 11 games.

Story continues below…

There had been suggestions that coach Massimiliano Allegri could even be sacked should his side lose in the Catalan capital, but club vice-president Adriano Galliani has appealed for calm.

"At the moment the results are not coming, but in these times my experience teaches me that we need to stay calm," he told the club's website.

"There is absolute confidence in Allegri. Naturally, all coaches are dependent on results. If a coach constantly loses then obviously that isn't good enough, but I don't think that this will be the case for us."

The visitors will at least be able to call upon a fit Mario Balotelli. The Italian international could only feature as a late substitute in the draw with Barca in Milan and he is likely to be supported by the former Real Madrid duo of Robinho and Kaka.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available