Martino weary of questions about Messi's form

Tue Nov 5, 2013 2:09pm EST
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By Elena Gyldenkerne

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino appeared fed up with questions about Lionel Messi's perceived loss of form on Tuesday and predicted the World Player of the Year would rediscover his sparkle sooner rather than later.

Messi's season has been disrupted by a couple of minor injuries and the Argentine said on Chinese social networking site Weibo at the weekend he was still not fully fit.

At home to Espanyol on Friday he failed to score for a fourth successive La Liga match in which he played the full 90 minutes, his most barren run in almost six years.

"I think that this must be the third news conference in the last five days and more or less the 20th question about Leo's situation," Martino told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at home to AC Milan.

"And I will continue saying exactly the same thing," added the 50-year-old, who took over from the ailing Tito Vilanova in the close season.

"What I am is happy to have him, to be able to coach him and have him in the team.

"Let's wait for the next match and see whether he continues to contribute what he has been contributing to Barcelona, when everything he does is decisive in the match."

Martino said Messi had not been given a special recovery program and was training normally with his team mates.   Continued...

Barcelona's Lionel Messi salutes during a training session at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea