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Messi Thrilled To Win FIFA Best Award, Backs Barcelona Recovery

Messi Thrilled To Win FIFA Best Award, Backs Barcelona Recovery

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Lionel Messi was happy to win the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, but the superstar’s focus is now on helping Barcelona respond to a slow start to the La Liga season.

The Argentinian wizard claimed the prize, rebranded in 2016, for the first time, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

It marked his first major individual honour since claiming his fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015 and the 32-year-old was pleased to land the award.

“It has been a long time without winning an individual prize,” Messi told reporters.

“It is an award that I have for the first time and it is good to have it.”

Messi is still working his way back from a calf injury suffered at training prior to the beginning of the 2019-20 season, having made just two appearances for Barca in the Champions League and La Liga since his injury return.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have made their worst start to a La Liga season since 1994-95, collecting just seven points from five games.

The Blaugrana began their campaign with a 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao, but two 5-2 home wins against Real Betis and Valencia were offset by a 2-2 with Osasuna and a 2-0 defeat away to Granada.

With matches against Villarreal and Getafe this week, Messi is eager to see Ernesto Valverde’s men bounce back and begin to make inroads on league leaders Athletic Bilbao, who are four points clear of the Catalans.

“We’ve started badly and are struggling to create play and chances. It’s just the start, but we have to respond now,” Messi said.

“There’s no more time and we have to improve a lot, we’re aware of this. It’s a team thing.

“I have no doubts that we’ll improve.”

Messi returned from injury to play 31 minutes in the 0-0 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund before getting a half in the league loss to Granada.

He is expected to start against Villarreal on Tuesday but may not play 90 minutes as he continues to be eased back into the action.

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