Lionel Messi seen giving teammates inspiring pep talk in tunnel as Barcelona close gap on LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid with Real Valladolid result April 6, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Lionel Messi debunked any suggestion he lacks leadership qualities as his half-time speech to teammates inspired Barcelona to go second in LaLiga.
The club are just one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid thanks to a 1-0 win at home to Real Valladolid, the winner coming in the 90th minute through Ousmane Dembele.
It was a frustrating first half for Barca with the game goalless at the break and cameras caught Messi motivating his team.
“We have to step it up a gear,” the top scoring player said. “We have to play with more rhythm.
“We have to win this however we can.”
The 33-year-old was honoured before the match with a special commemorative framed club shirt to celebrate becoming Barelona‘s all-time record appearance holder.
Messi played his 768th match for the Blaugrana as they handed Real Sociedad a 6-1 mauling on March 21, beating previous record holder and former teammate Xavi.
This season is likely to prove Messi‘s final one at the Camp Nou with his contract set to expire in June.
He has been linked with a number of top European clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, which would see him reunite with ex-Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
However, Barca fans will hope and upturn in form plus the return of former president Joan Laporta could see their star player staying.