Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has urged the club not to divert from their distinctive style of play, despite their inability to advance to the final of this season’s Champions League.
Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich 7-0 on aggregate in the semi- final stage of this year’s competition, which has led to the suggestion that the Catalans’ ‘tiki- taka’ passing game had been overtaken by the German power.
“We can’t lose our heads,” the four- time World Footballer of the Year told Television Azteca. “We can’t change our style of play.
“You can’t always win. We’ve been playing our brand of football for years and managers and teams have studied it.
“We have to stay calm and focus on next year.”
Spanish defender Gerard Pique thought Barcelona would have to change and said: “We are not the best any more, other teams are.”
But vice- president Josep Bartomeu still upheld his believe that “four or five” new signings is what the club requires.
Despite losing out on the Champions League, Barca have reclaimed the La Liga title back from arch- rivals Real Madrid with four games left.
Their league success came amidst repeated health worries for head coach Tito Vilanova, who was unavailable for three months following an operation in New York to treat throat cancer.
The 44- year- old Vilanova in his first season in charge of the club after stepping up from the post of assistant under former boss Pep Guardiola has this week, travelled back to The States for more “pioneering treatment.”
Messi believed the boss’ absence has affected the team in some ways.
“Things went well with Tito, because he practically didn’t change anything,” the 25- year- old Argentine said.
“But we noticed a change when he left, not because Jordi Roura or the training staff who stayed on didn’t do a good job but because we were missing our head manager.
“It wasn’t the same. One year is a long time and it’s great that we can finish it by celebrating,” Messi added.