We won't Li down
Lionel Messi told Revista he can't explain why Barcelona have faltered in their title bid.
Last Updated: 13/02/08 4:28pm
Lionel Messi admits he cannot put his finger on why Barcelona have faltered in their title bid this season.
Barca's Argentinean ace spoke to Revista de la Liga about life at the Camp Nou after his side slipped eight points behind leaders Real Madrid in table following their 1-1 draw at Sevilla.
Frank Rijkaard's side have struggled for fluidity since an unexpected draw with Athletic Bilbao earlier in the campaign, but Messi insists the team still believe they can win three trophies this season.
He said: "I don't know what Barca are missing this season. I think that we were doing well up until the game against Athletic Bilbao which we drew. Nobody was expecting that result.
"We are doing very well in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey and we still have every chance of winning the league.
"I certainly think we can beat Real Madrid. It's going to be a long hard fight but anything can happen.
"We've got to focus on not letting more points slip away. Last year we were in the same position as Real Madrid are now but we failed to maintain our advantage."
Messi says the return of Ronaldinho from injury could be a big boost as Barca enter a crucial stage of the season and he also hailed the return to form of summer signing Thierry Henry.
He said: "The return of Ronaldinho is hugely important. We need him now more than ever because we have a tough run of matches ahead of us. It's the hardest time of the season but also the most entertaining.
"The Champions League starts again soon and we are in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey so it's great to have him back.
"Thierry Henry is a great player who brings a lot to the team. He had a tough start following injury problems but now he's playing like he used to at Arsenal and we're all proud to have him on our side."
However, Messi also had praise for the new generation of stars emerging at the club and said Barcelona's future is safe in the hands of players like Giovani and Bojan
He added: "Bojan and Giovani are the new future stars. There are a lot of great young players who are coming up through the ranks. We have quite a young squad and I think that this team has a long future ahead."