Lionel Messi guides Barcelona to derby victory over Espanyol

An uncharacteristically angry Lionel Messi revealed on Friday how he struggles to deal with criticism of his performances for Argentina's national team, saying that even his six-year-old son was questioning why he was judged so harshly in his country. "We make decisions together and talk to him to see how he is like I do with others", he told a press conference.

After Argentina were knocked out by France in the last 16 at Russian Federation 2018, Messi stepped away from global duty and only made his return from a nine-month absence in a loss to Venezuela last week.

The Argentina captain was quick to hit back, however, in an interview with Buenos Aires-based radio station FM Club 947. "It was great, although it was tough for me to watch him win titles".

The 31-year-old may have been put off by the on-rushing keeper while the timing of his jump may have also scuppered.

"I'd love to win something with Argentina", he added.

"I would have chosen the chosen against [Real] Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League at the Bernabeu or the Manchester United header (in the final)". You need to give the kids time and confidence.

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The draw subsequently ensured Messi and Ronaldo can not meet unless both clubs advance to the final, which is set to be played at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano home, according to Goal.

Barcelona changed their style of play in the second half, but they had to wait till the 71st minute before Lionel Messi scored the opener via a superb free kick.

He made a low-key return to global action in midweek as Argentina lost a friendly to Venezuela, but Valverde was delighted it did not affect Messi on Saturday.

Messi, who scored twice in the reverse fixture which Barcelona won 4-0 in December, was ruled out of Argentina's second worldwide match against Morocco with a groin injury, while Suarez has recovered from a sprained ankle.

He said: "I have more money than the budget of Espanyol this year", he said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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