Messi happy to win FIFA Best award, eager for Barcelona response

By Sports Desk September 23, 2019

Lionel Messi was happy to win the Best FIFA Men's Player award and the star's focus is now on helping Barcelona respond to a slow start to the season.

Messi claimed the prize, rebranded in 2016, for the first time, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

It marked his first major individual honour since claiming his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015 and the 32-year-old was pleased to land the prize.

"It has been a long time without winning an individual prize," Messi told reporters.

"It is an award that I have for the first time and it is good to have it."

Messi is still working his way back from a calf injury to begin the 2019-20 season, having made just one LaLiga appearance.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have made their worst start to a LaLiga season since 1994-95, collecting just seven points from five games.

With matches against Villarreal and Getafe this week, Messi is eager to see Ernesto Valverde's men bounce back.

"We've started badly and are struggling to create play and chances. It's just the start, but we have to respond now," he said.

"There's no more time and we have to improve a lot, we're aware of this. It's a team thing.

"I have no doubts that we'll improve."

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