Barcelona vs. Espanyol - Football Match Report

Lionel Messi scored a brace as Barcelona defeated Catalan rivals Espanyol 2-0 in Saturday afternoon's derby clash at Camp Nou.

"I wanted to distance myself from the team, let time go by and cool myself".

After Argentina were knocked out by France in the last 16 at Russian Federation 2018, Messi stepped away from global duty and only made his return from a nine-month absence in a loss to Venezuela last week.

"I want to win something with the national team, and I'll keep trying", Messi told Argentine radio station Radio Club October. "It was great, although it was tough for me to watch him win titles".

The 31-year-old also returned to global action last week in a lacklustre 3-1 defeat by Venezuela, a game that was his first for the national side since he took a break following the 2018 World Cup.

According to the fans, the best goal came in the 2006/07 season when Messi weaved in and out of Getafe's team - much like Diego Maradona did against England back in 1986- before dispatching with consummate ease.

He said going from Barcelona to Argentina was hard and blamed their poor performances in Russian Federation on a swift transition from promoting younger players to take up senior positions in the team.

Just when you think you've seen it all from Lionel Messi, he produces something else.

"The important thing is that (Messi's) on our side, he scored a great free kick and without doubt having him is always an advantage for us", said midfielder Sergio Busquets.

"I would have chosen the chosen against [Real] Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League at the Bernabeu or the Manchester United header (in the final)". My six-year-old son asked me: 'Dad, why do they crucify you in Argentina?'. Anybody can say anything, people buy into it and then I'm the bad guy.

The global week saw Messi return to duty but he couldn't help Argentina as they lost 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly.

Messi faced heavy scrutiny from Espanyol's defence, who weren't shy to get physical with him, and even though he was playing well it was hard for him to overcome the sheer numbers at times.

  • Rosalie Stanley