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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila keen on new loan for Jason Denayer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company