Barca must not change style, says Messi

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Messi_training1 AFP Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Madrid – Argentine star and world player of the year Lionel Messi on Wednesday urged Barcelona not to change their style despite their chastening Champions League semi-final loss to Bayern Munich.

Bayern hammered seven goals past the Catalan club for no reply but Messi insists that loss is no reason to change the club's attacking philosophy.

“It gets ever more difficult and you cannot win everything every year,” Messi told Mexican broadcaster Azteca.

“We have been playing the same way for a long time and all the coaches' years, all the teams are looking at you and studying how we are not winning, at least in Europe”, observed Messi.

“But we cannot go crazy over what happened this year. We cannot change Barcelona's style, which is what has always characterised this team. You have to keep calm and look to the year ahead,” said Messi, whose side have after all wrested the Spanish league title back from Real Madrid.

Messi said the forced absences of coach Tito Vilanova, who replaced the hugely successful 'Pep' Guardiola but had to have several bouts of cancer treatment in the United States, had made a difference.

“When he was away we noticed the difference. It was not that the people around him were not up to scratch just that the image of the head coach was missing ... obviously things weren't the same.”

Yet with the Spanish league crown back at the Nou Camp, Messi concluded: “A season is very long and to be able to end it celebrating is wonderful.” – Sapa-AFP

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