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Lionel Messi targeting Real after heart trick,as the two team meet next week.



Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel
Messi has set his sights on beating Real Madrid
next weekend after leading Barcelona to a 7-0
thrashing of Osasuna on Sunday.
Messi overtook Paulino Alcantara to become
Barca’s all-time leading scorer in all forms of football with his
second goal of the afternoon before completing his hat-trick to take
his tally for the club to 371.
Victory moved Barca back to within four points of Real Madrid at
the top of La Liga with both sides set to meet at the Santiago
Bernabeu next Sunday.
And Messi is hoping that a win in the Spanish capital will put his
side right back in the La Liga title race.
“I hope we see a good version of Barcelona and we can get a positive
result, which we need to still be in there fighting for La Liga just a
point behind,” he told Barca TV.
“We have a unique opportunity to cut the gap on Madrid. It will be
a very difficult game because we are playing away from home and
Real Madrid is a great team playing with a lot of confidence. It will
be difficult, but it all depends on us.”
The Argentine’s first hat-trick of 2014 means he has now scored 12
times in his last nine games and he believes he is slowly getting back to
his best after missing the last two months of 2013 due to a hamstring
“I feel good, as I have said before, little by little I am getting better
after the injury. There were very difficult moments because I had a
run of injuries, but I am feeling good and hopefully I can maintain
this level until the end of the season.”
Barca boss Gerardo Martino hailed his compatriot’s display as his
side returned to winning ways in La Liga after a shock 1-0 defeat to
Valladolid last weekend.
“There is nothing that needs to be said about Messi. He continues to
play games like this and break records.”
However, despite such a resounding scoreline, Martino insisted
Barca’s display hadn’t affected his thinking over what starting line-
up to go with against Real Madrid.
“Today doesn’t generate any doubts in my mind ahead of the
Bernabeu. The performance doesn’t affect how I think we should
play there.
“I always have in mind what I think about the team independent of
the result and I have almost decided upon the team for next week.
“To have a good performance ahead of the game at the Bernabeu is
positive, but we can’t get carried away. It is not easy to score seven
goals, but we can’t think we have gone from a disaster to spectacular
in the space of a week.
“This is a squad full of important figures and some have to be left out.
It is not easy to manage because they are all so good. However, I
can’t get carried away by this game and it will not affect my thinking
too much.”

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