Lionel Messi Had 'Problems on and Off the Pitch' Last Season

Published: 23rd February 2015 08:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2015 08:24 AM   |  A+A-

Messi-Malaga-AP
By AP

BARCELONA, (Spain): Lionel Messi says both he and his Barcelona teammates have learned from mistakes that left them without a major title for the first time in six seasons last year.

Messi admitted Thursday that he had "many problems on and off the pitch" last season. He did not elaborate.

"Last year wasn't a good year for me," Messi said. "And I want to reverse that situation. I want to keep in the same shape I am today so I can keep being useful to the team and helping them as much as I am able."

Messi fought off injuries throughout 2013 and has spent the past year being investigated for allegedly failing to pay all his taxes.

He also came one victory short of winning the World Cup with Argentina losing in last summer's final to Germany.

But this season Messi has recovered the same outstanding form that gave him four straight world player of the year awards. He has scored 37 goals in 33 games this campaign, including 14 to fuel an 11-game winning streak since Barcelona lost at Real Sociedad early January.

"The change in the team's attitude is very noticeable. We are in a very good dynamic nowadays, displaying a very good level," Messi said. "But we are also aware that so far we haven't achieved anything. That these months are key in order to win any title. We hope we can maintain this level so we can achieve the goals we have set upon us."

The forward said that the entire team is working to redeem itself after a disappointing 2013-14 season.

"We are Barcelona and hence we are obliged to fight for all titles," Messi said. "Sometimes you can achieve it and sometimes you can't. Last season we didn't win any title. We don't want to repeat the same situation this season."

Barcelona visits Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie next week.

"We will try to win the game from the beginning," said Messi. "The way we always do."

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