West Bromwich Albion
Game Details
Real Betis
Game Details

Lionel Messi hopes to regain top form

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi on Friday reflected on his current fitness, saying that he hopes to be in top shape for both the World Cup and the title race, according to a report.

• Ledwith: Slack defending leads to shock defeat for Barca

"I'm very well, full of energy and with a lot of hope. I was able to play again after a long time," he told the BBC.

"I'm happy with my current form and slowly but surely I will be getting there to hopefully peak at the right time of the year.

"I hope this could be a great year not only for me but also for Barcelona and for Argentina.

Plagued by hamstring problems in 2013, Messi was sidelined this past November when he tore his other hamstring against Real Betis before finally returning to action in January.

Barcelona sit second in La Liga, three points behind Atletico Madrid after a 3-2 loss to Valencia last week ended Barca's record run of 59 consecutive game weeks on top. They face Manchester City in the Champions League final 16.

"I hope to keep performing at a high level all the way to the World Cup because we have a lot to play for with Barca, with a hard tie in the Champions League, and a very hard La Liga and Copa del Rey to deal with.

"To desire to keep winning things are my main motivation. I want to keep going and win them all."

Barca leads Real Sociedad 2-0 after the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner said he is not losing his World Cup focus. Argentina, which plays in Group F along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, debuts in Brazil on June 15 vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina in Rio de Janeiro.

"I think this World Cup arrives at a good time for Argentina. We have grown as a team on and off the pitch. We have a great bunch of lads that love to play for our country. I think we will get to Brazil in a great shape and with all the chances in the world.

"It will be extra special, well above all the other World Cups -- it is in Brazil, with everything that means for us. Our supporters will be there in their thousands and with them behind us I'm sure we can achieve something very, very special."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.