Tito Vilanova: “He (Messi) Was Not Injured, But Felt He Could Pick Up an Injury.”


After the reigning world footballer of the year Lionel Messi, watched from the sideline as Bayern Munich thrashed his team 3-0 at home. There were speculations at the heat of the proceedings that Messi suffering from the pains of the hamstring injury he picked up at the Parc de Princes stadium in Paris.
The manager Tito Vilanova, speaking at the post match conference have squashed every rumour related to that; stating critically that the Argentine was spared the pains of another injury.
“Messi felt good against Athletic Bilbao (on Sunday), but in the final minutes of the game at the San Mames he noticed a strange feeling,” Vilanova said.
“He’s not injured, but he felt he could pick up an injury.
“Yesterday he trained, and also today… but he did not feel well. He’s an explosive player and he could break. So maybe he could not help the team.”
Barcelona lost 3-0 at the Nou Camp against Bayern, making it a 7-0 loss on aggregate. Moreover, coach Vilanova believes the game was lost in Germany.
“To lose, that can pass, but to lose 3-0 at home and 7-0 overall… It is clear this is not the tie we wanted,” he said. If we had arrived at 100 percent, it could have been different. I believe the first leg weighed heavily on us. I do not want to recall how they got those goals.”
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes also acknowledged the absence of Messi had an effect but opined that that shouldn’t undermine his side’s achievement.
He said on German television channel ZDF: “Messi’s (absence) surprised us and, even though it’s clear that we’ve had an excellent game, you need to accept that Barcelona are one thing with Messi and another without Messi.
“If we look at the whole tie, we’ve won 7-0. That couldn’t be more clear and now we have to enjoy it.”
Barca president Sandro Rosell, who congratulated the Bundesliga champions and conceded they had been ‘clearly the superior side,’ backed coach Vilanova’s decision not to risk Messi with the tie out of reach.
“If the best player in the world isn’t on the pitch, it’s noticeable,” he said on www.fcbarcelona.cat.
“At any rate, I am very proud of all the players, managers, members of the fans. They proved they know how to win and how to lose.
“If they (Barca management) decided that he shouldn’t play, it was purely technical decision. Nothing else to say.”