Lionel Messi Challenges Barcelona To End Year With FIFA Club World Cup Triumph
Lionel Messi has challenged Barcelona to leave an “indelible legacy” by ending a trophy-laden year with yet more silverware.
An historic 2015 draws to a close in Japan for Luis Enrique’s side, where they have joined the other five continental champions to partake in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup.
Having already sealed La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles this calendar year, Barca will be looking to go one further in Japan before the winter break.
And, speaking to FIFA.com, an unrelenting Messi set his sights on adding to the club’s outstanding trophy haul.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Messi said. That time when we won everything under [Pep] Guardiola [in 2009] looked unrepeatable, we genuinely weren’t sure if we’d one day get close to that again. And here we are.
“Now what’s left for us to do is end the year in the best possible way and make it unforgettable.
“We know just how much the Club World Cup means and for us it’s about winning another title, these championship wins are an indelible legacy in the history of the club. It’s something very important.”
Victory for Barcelona will see them replicate the domestic, European and global dominance enjoyed during Pep Guardiola’s tenure at the Camp Nou.
Guardiola’s now-famous ‘Tiki-taka’ style of play characterised Barca’s dominance six years ago, redefining football across the both in Europe and across the globe.
However, while remnants of Guardiola’s style remain a fundamental part of Barcelona’s identity, Messi believes the club is benefiting from a shift in ideologies under current coach Enrique.
“We’ve changed a little bit,” Messi told FIFA.com. “We’ve become a more vertical (direct) team.
“Of course, we’ve not lost our ideology of keeping hold of the ball, that’s our trademark and our priority: to control the play and keep possession as much as we possibly can.
“Before it was about getting in front of the opposition goal using more elaborate build-up play. But now we’ve incorporated the idea that, with just a couple of touches, we can get in front of goal.”