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Martino: “Messi does his talking out on the pitch”

AS AS 21/04/2014 As.com

FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino was happy to discuss a variety of topics with the media after Sunday’s victory over Athletic Club: the criticism aimed at Messi, the whistles given to Cesc, his working relationship with Alexis and team morale.

How did you see the game?

After the first half, I really thought that this was a game which wasn’t going to work out for us. It’s not normal to have so many chances and none of them enter. But the players showed great character and turned it around. The match became very difficult for us but my players showed courage at all times. Regarding Alexis and Pedro, if you put questions to me, I’ll answer them. Both of them are players who give everything they have, they play for the team - they show solidarity. Today, it was the moment for both of them to start. They are exhausted after so much running, but they are both committed to the team and to scoring goals for us.

Whistling from the stands at Cesc

I’ve got no opinion on the whistles at Cesc. He’s an intelligent lad and he always wants to play, he always wants the ball, he’s not afraid to try his luck on goal and went it doesn’t work out, he will try again. He is a brave player.

Relationship with Alexis after the Copa del Rey final

I’m sure he was upset, like anyone else would be if they were left out. I’m not interested in what’s published in the newspapers. Yesterday, he was joking with me, saying, “Right, now we’re fighting…”

Messi, looking more inspired following the criticism he's received

It’s important to understand how your rivals play and some teams defend in numbers. That’s a problem which Barcelona have had for a while. I don’t think that Messi has changed the way he plays but this was a game in which he felt comfortable. I haven’t had any need to speak to him, nor will I speak to him next week. We talk – but about other things. I was happy to see him score – for him and because it allowed the team to win. He is not a big talker – he does his talking out on the pitch. Out of ever 100 games, he plays well in 99 of them and always delivers for us. It’s been a tough week for him so I’m glad he scored tonight.

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