Barcelona: Martino fires Messi warning

Lionel Messi barcelona 2 Goals

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Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino believes Lionel Messi is back to his best after an impressive display and two goals in the 3-1 win over AC Milan on Wednesday.

The Argentina international had struggled for form following a hamstring injury picked up in November, which kept him out of the side for three weeks.

Messi had gone three games without a goal prior to his brace against the Rossoneri and has since admitted that the injury did impact his form, but after his performance at Camp Nou on Wednesday Martino believes his star man is back to his best.

“Making negative assertions about Leo has risks. He played phenomenally well today, there was a spark to his play,” said Martino. “He always comes out on top in these kind of situations.”

Barcelona have now secured a place in the knock-out stages with two games to spare thanks to the win over Milan but Martino is keen to ensure his side finish at the top of the Group H table.

He added: “We’re happy, we’ve reached an important objective.

“Qualification is what we were looking for, and it’s good that we got it early.

“We have the obligation to finish at the top of the group, it will be especially good for our self-confidence.”

Barcelona travel to Ajax at the end of the month and host Celtic in their final group fixtures, and will qualify as group winners if they win one of their remaining games or draw both.

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