Barcelona could rewrite history books, says Messi

08:48, April 12, 2010      

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Lionel Messi said the current Barcelona team could write more chapters in the club's history following their 2-0 win over Real Madrid in Saturday's "El Clasico" at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca became the first Spanish side to win a La Liga, Kings Cup and Champions League treble last season and are on for the double this time round having safely made the semifinals of the Champions League while Saturday's victory over Real puts them in the box seat in the league.

"The title is not won and there are some tough games left but this was an important step and we can continue making history," said Messi.

"The team showed that we are superior to any opponent if we want to be, however you have to do it on the pitch and we did tonight. It was a really important win but now we have to carry on."

Messi followed up his four-goal blast in Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal win over Arsenal with a 32nd minute opener, for his 40th goal of the season in all competitions, before Pedro Rodriguez, in the 55th minute, added a second as Barca went three points clear of Real at the summit.

It was a fourth successive Clasico win for Barca and their coach Pep Guardiola while Messi continued his knack of scoring against Real having netted twice in the 6-2 drubbing at the Bernabeu last season.

Saturday's game was billed as the Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo show but the Argentine played down the battle saying the match was about gaining the upper hand in the title race.

"It was not between him (Ronaldo) and me," said Messi. "It was simply that Barca were superior to Madrid. We are back at the top again and we have an advantage."

Messi now has 27 league goals to top the goalscoring charts in La Liga while he is also the leading marksman in the Champions League with eight goals following his four against Arsenal.

Real were boosted by the return of Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso from suspensions and both started

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who bagged the winner in the 1-0 Clasico win at Camp Nou in late November, had been ruled out for Barca so Guardiola chose to play without a recognised target man.

Carles Puyol played at right back giving Dani Alves a more attacking role down the right wing with Messi having a free role in the centre.

A bumper 80,000-plus crowd packed in to watch the duel between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two most recent Ballon D'or winners, and both were prominent early on.

Messi, full of confidence after his four goals against Arsenal, went down on 11 minutes under the challenge of Raul Albiol but saw his penalty appeal turned away.

Ronaldo nutmegged Sergi Busquets only to over-run the ball and Gerard Pique cleared.

With half an hour gone neither goalkeeper had been called into action but Barcelona made their first chance count.

Messi played a neat one-two with Xavi before controlling the ball on his chest and firing past Iker Casillas.

Real should have equalised with Alonso heading over from close range before Gonzalo Higuain blazed over when well-placed.

The second goal arrived on 55 minutes. Xavi released a terrific pass to Pedro who controlled brilliantly before accelerating away from Alvaro Arbeloa and curling the ball past Casillas.

Source:China Daily


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