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Messi's return from injury impressive

English.news.cn   2014-01-09 19:28:41            

MADRID, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- You can't keep a good man down for long and you can sideline a great footballer for even less. Leo Messi made that clear with a short but spectacular reappearance on Wednesday night following almost two months out with a hamstring injury.

When Messi stepped onto the pitch in the Camp Nou Stadium in the 64th minute of his side's Copa del Rey tie against Getafe, Barca were leading 2-0.

30 minutes later it was 4-0 and the Argentinean had scored the last two goals to all but assure his side's place in the quarterfinals.

While his first goal, two minutes from time was a simple tap in after good work from Martin Montoya, his second was a trademark sprint and swerve through the opposition defense followed with a clinical finish to bring the Camp Nou to its feet.

"I was looking forward to returning as I have been out of action for a long time," said Messi on Thursday morning in an interview with Barcelona TV.

He had carried out his recovery in Argentina, flying back to Barcelona a week ago and taking part in a handful of training sessions with his teammates before Wednesday's return.

"I felt good in the training sessions. I tested myself in every way possible, but it is different on the pitch," said Messi, who was as pleased with his sensations on the pitch as he was with the goals.

"I felt physically good apart from the goals and I didn't feel any pain in my hamstring. Now I am over the injury, I am going to work physically to be able to enjoy myself on the pitch."

It has been a difficult season for Messi so far because as well as being hampered by a series of muscle problems, he has also been pursued by controversy with accusations of tax avoidance and rumors that his father had been involved in money laundering.

The club insists this is a case of a campaign from outside to damage his image, but the striker admits that leaving Spain for around six weeks had helped.

"I am happy after being in my country and I did well in leaving all of this behind, because now I am back with the desire to make 2014 a great year," he said.

The first big game in this World Cup year sees Barca travel to face Atletico Madrid on Saturday night in a game between the sides first and second in the league and Messi will almost certainly take part.

"I will talk to (coach, Tata) Martino and the doctors as more than getting over the injury, I want to play and if I can play against Atletico I will do. I always think about the need of my club and I have the same desire as always. Now we have five or six tough months ahead of us," he said.

Editor: Yang Yi
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