Lionel Messi: 'We will come back'
Ahead of Barcelona's La Liga match Saturday vs. Deportivo La Coruna, Lionel Messi made an effort to rally the club on Wednesday.
"We have to give a little more. We well know what were the problems with our defeats, but that will stay in the dressing room. I hope that we can come back for the (Champions League) match vs. Milan," Messi said. "Just as they won there, we can win here in Barcelona. We are aware that we all have to give more. This is a key match to change."
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell on Monday encouraged players and fans to remain calm in the face of the recent 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the away leg of the last-16 round of the Champions League coupled with the two losses to Real Madrid (3-1 in the Copa del Rey and 2-1 in La Liga).
Barcelona's coach, Tito Vilanova, 44, has been in New York for the last two months receiving medical treatment.
On Monday, Rosell said Vilanova would be back at Camp Nou as soon as possible, but is not expected to be present for the Champions League return match against AC Milan on March 12.
"What happened to Tito and (Eric) Abidal affected our dressing room. But we can't use that as an excuse. This group is strong and will recuperate," Messi said.
Messi also spoke about Tuesday's Real Madrid Champions League victory over Manchester United.
"I saw Real Madrid last night. They showed how strong they are now," he said. "Either one of the two teams were going to be candidates to win Champions (League). Cristiano and I are not playing to see who is better. Those are comparisons for the media."