Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he is happy again after admitting to having a difficult time last year.
This season, Messi has been playing perhaps the best soccer of his career while leading Barcelona to the top of La Liga, the Copa del Rey final and the Champions League quarter-finals.
Barcelona have won 30 of their last 34 games in all competitions, but saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end this weekend following a 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Saturday.
Even though Barcelona have ten games remaining (at least), Messi has already surpassed his totals from last season.
The Argentine forward currently has 47 goals and 23 assists in all competitions, after the player notched 41 goals and 11 assists in the entirety of the 2013-14 campaign.
Last season, Messi was at the center of controversy due to an ongoing dispute with Spanish tax officials. At one point, it was believed the Argentine was considering leaving the country to avoid prosecution.
Messi also suffered from a handful of injuries during the campaign, and had his work rate questioned by fans and pundits when he was healthy enough to compete.
Speaking to the club’s official magazine, Barca, the forward admitted his current peace of mind is a key reason for his rejuvenated play this season.
“I feel happy,” Messi said. “The truth is that I began the season in another way after everything that had happened to me last year.
“I had a difficult year because of things that happened away from the pitch, injuries and my performance level. But now I feel good.
“I spent a lot of time away from the pitch [last season] and when I returned I wasn’t in great form.”
Messi went on to say that perhaps he and his teammates didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to continue their winning habits following the departures of Pep Guardiola and Tito Villanova.
“Maybe we didn’t realize what we were achieving at the time,” the forward added.
“Now we have gone one year without titles, so when success does arrive, we will enjoy it more because we know how difficult it is to achieve it.”
Barcelona are alive in three competitions, and Messi believes his side are ready for the challenges that lay ahead both domestically and in Europe.
“We will fight for everything,” he concluded. We really want to get as far as possible in all the competitions we are in.”
Programming note: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona will be shown LIVE on Wednesday at 2:45pm EST on FOX Sports 1 and FoxSoccer2Go.
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