Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol: Lionel Messi scores late derby double


Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday March 30, 2019. "We make decisions together and talk to him to see how he is like I do with others".

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

"I miss Cristiano", Messi told FM Club 947 in Argentina. "It was lovely having him here, even though it annoyed me seeing him win so many titles".

The 31-year-old may have been put off by the on-rushing keeper while the timing of his jump may have also scuppered.

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. Anybody can say anything, people buy into it and then I'm the bad guy.

The Bavarians, who had won 13 of their previous 14 league games, cancelled out Lucas Hoeler's third-minute strike with Robert Lewandowski's 199th Bundesliga goal in the 22nd. You need to give the kids time and confidence. "They invent things about me when I am not there and nothing surprises me", he said.

Messi returned recently for Argentina during the side's 3-1 loss to Venezuela and he pleaded with fans for patience ahead of this year's Copa America finals in Brazil.

But Messi wasn't so jovial when discussing the topic of media coverage, particularly with regard to the Argentinian national team, where his performances have come under fire during big games and major tournaments in recent years.

"My son asked me 'why do they kill you in Argentina?'".

As well as securing the three points, Messi also surpassed Andres Iniesta's record of 674 appearances for Barca, with Xavi (767) the only player to have played for the club more times.