Barcelona defender Daniel Alves gave an interview to Spanish daily El Mundo where he declared that he has been seeing Lionel Messi with a different attitude lately and also thinks the team has lost the hunger to pressure and go after the rival.
"I saw Leo down emotionally, but who am I to ask. In the day to day I see him normal. But I'm not hypocritical, I don’t cover things. It is clear that in recent games he has been low emotionally. Why? I do not know, I don’t plan to find out. I just want to know what you're interested in sharing. And if someone is not interested in sharing his life or what he goes through: Who am I to ask?,” said Alves referring to Messi’s situation but clarifying he respects his privacy.
When asked if the team had lost its hunger, the Brazilian specified what he meant for losing the hunger: “Specifically, we have lost the hunger to want to eat the opponent. The desire we had before, now is not noticeable and that is contagious. Good things are spread and the not so good, too. We must get it back, and we're working on it. Beyond what they say and what they think. The work will allow us to recover,” said a sincere Alves about the current situation at Barcelona.
The 29-year old also acknowledged that they miss coach Tito Vilanova (currently in New York for cancer treatment) but assistant coach Jordi Roura is doing a great job.
“Roura has a lot of merit, because it is not easy to take charge of the team in this situation. He has had the courage to take the lead. But we know we are missing a piece. Our team is stronger when we are complete. But if we’re not, we must try that minimize that to be noticed. Tito must be calm and see that the team works very hard,” Alves said.
About the rumors suggesting that Barça is such a good team that it doesn’t need a coach, the winger disagrees: “It is clear that the players, we know each other well and know how to play the rival. But an orchestra without a conductor does not work. We would play well, but it would not be a show. I do not think this team can manage themselves, we need someone to be there and coordinate us.”
- Barcelona star Lionel Messi helped by his main sponsor Adidas, opened a museum in Barcelona where fans can see many of the awards he has received and videos and photos of the best moments in his career. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- Messi was present during the opening of the exposition and gave a press conference. Photo: Getty
- "We are hurt because of the recent defeats, but we will get through." "I am not happy, I don't know who said that," explained Messi. Photo: Getty
- These are Messi's most recent model of his Adizero F50 line. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- He was heavily involved in the design of these soccer boots. Photo: Getty
- These are the two European Golden Shoes won by Messi for being the top scorer in Europe. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- This module has a video that supposedly tells you how to play like Messi. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- It's difficult to play like Messi but at least fans can watch very detailed how he does it. Photo: Getty
- This the 'Jabulani', the official ball of the South Africa 2010 World Cup. We believe it is autographed by him and the members of the Argentina national team. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- Messi's Argentina jersey, which he has worn 77 times. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- This is a collection of the soccer boots Messi has used over this career. Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca
- This model honors Diego Maradona and the goal he scored in the 1986 World Cup against England. He said he did it with "the hand of God." Photo: Pablo Pueyo/Marca