Vilanova praises 'great' Messi

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has praised Lionel Messi for his approach to the game after the forward broke the record for the most goals in a calendar year.

Last Updated: 11/12/12 at 18:37 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Has scored 86 goals so far in 2012

Lionel Messi: Has scored 86 goals so far in 2012

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Messi surpassed Gerd Muller's 40-year mark of 85 goals in a single year when he struck his 85th and 86th goals of 2012 in Barca's 2-1 win at Real Betis at the weekend.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday night's Copa del Rey tie with Cordoba, Vilanova told a press conference: "Leo Messi's great virtue is that he does as a professional exactly the same things that he did as a kid, and that's a difficult thing to do.

"Given who he is today and what there is yet to come, he is one of the greats in FC Barcelona history."

Next weekend Messi will line up against another of the world's leading strikers in Radamel Falcao when Barcelona face Atletico Madrid, but Vilanova rejected speculation that the occasion will see his star player driven to excel.

"Leo is always motivated, and I don't think it will be any special motivation for him to be playing against Falcao," he said.

Looking ahead to tomorrow's last-16 cup tie with Cordoba, Vilanova was refusing to take the challenge lightly given the scalp on offer to the second-tier outfit.

"It's a game people assume we'll win, but I'd have preferred to play a first division team," he said.

"It's the game of the year for them, like the Champions League final would be for us.

"Cordoba are excited about this because it's 40 years since they last played in the first division.

"This game will be very difficult. We will have to get a good result."

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

oes the absence of Winston Bogarde mean he's finally left Chelsea?

nellyknows
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

P

resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

A

deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

Footer 365

Guus Hiddink vows to build on success of Holland predecessor Louis van Gaal

New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has vowed to build on the success of predecessor Louis van Gaal.

Leeds win High Court ruling but claim police still owe them more than £800,000

Leeds United have been paid £1.2m after the High Court ruled that they had been overcharged for policing at home games.

Premier League: Jordan Henderson looking to raise game for Liverpool and England

Jordan Henderson is aware that he needs to 'step up' for Liverpool and England following the departures of key men.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property