Barcelona [Spain], December 25 (ANI): Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has said that Lionel Messi is "very engaged" and trains hard every day to play games for the club and win them.
Earlier this year, Messi and Barcelona had a bad fallout as the striker had expressed his desire to leave the club. However, in the end, he stayed with the Spanish side as he did not want to settle matters in court.
"In theory, it's the same for every player. If he is fit to play and good enough, then he will. But, of course, Leo is older than before, although he's a player who still wants to be in games, and especially to win them. He trains hard every day. He's very engaged," the club's official website quoted Koeman as saying.
"As I coach I like to speak to my players, and I also speak to Leo about this and other things because he's also the team captain. There are squad matters, rules, and we speak about a lot of things, not just the way we play. That's part of a coach's day-to-day, you need to be in communication with your players," he added.
Messi on Wednesday moved past former footballer Pele as the highest goalscorer ever for a single club during Barcelona's 3-0 win over Valladolid. Messi scored the third goal of the match as he set a new world record.
The Argentine striker has now scored a staggering 644 goals, all wearing an FC Barcelona shirt, across 17 seasons and 749 games. That surpassed the 643 goals that the Brazilian scored for Santos which was until now the world record.
Barcelona currently hold the fifth spot on the La Liga standings with 24 points, eight points behind the table-toppers Atletico Madrid. Koeman said their ultimate goal is to win trophies and they can't settle for anything less.
"At a club like Barca you have to win things. I think our ultimate purpose is to win games and trophies. You get no prizes for finishing fourth, you need to be first. That's the mentality that this team must have, we can't settle for anything less," he said. (ANI)