Jan 20, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT
Leo Messi is back at the scoring thing again around the Nou Camp, showing no rust in his return to FC Barcelona after time away for injury recovery.
That’s great news for Barca, which will be without its other young attacker of world class talent, Neymar, for a few weeks.
And it’s great news for Argentina, among the favorites (along with Brazil, Germany and Spain) to walk away this summer’s with the world’s most coveted trophy.
In a meaty Q&A with FIFA.com, Messi was asked about sensing peoples’ anxiety over his fitness and return to “Messi form,” which is a high, high bar indeed. But he sounded quite at ease about it all, having done his share of relaxing back home in Argentina over the holidays.
And why wouldn’t he? After another pressure filled year of 50-plus games for club and country, and heading into such an enormous year (because of a little tournament going on in Brazil this summer), who could blame the guy for seeing some benefit in a little well-deserved down time?
By the end of last year, plenty of observers were taking the position that Messi was still brilliant, but just not quite as brilliant as we’ve seen him before, with just a little bit of the “something special” missing as he lined up Barcelona and its new coach, Gerardo “Tata” Martino.
Barca is about to hit the business end of Champions League, with that high-profile meet-up directly ahead against Manchester City. (You’ve got those dates circles, right? For Feb. 18 and March 12?)
Soon after that, with all matters La Liga and Champions League and otherwise settled around the Nou Camp, Messi will report for Argentina duty. He talked about how so many positive elements seem to be lining up for Argentina’s World Cup bid.
Yes, yes… it’s true, and we are in good form at the moment. We weren’t doing all that well in qualifying until we won away in Colombia, but then we had a great campaign. It was a major turnaround and a very positive thing for us. It’s a very good group of players and we all get on very well. It might just be our year but once the World Cup starts anything can happen, it’s very difficult. But I do think that we’re in good form.”
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