Lionel Messi says last season’s struggles are gone

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“Exclusive interviews” on club websites should be taken with a grain of salt, as they often paint life with the team as all sunshine and rainbows, but for what it’s worth, Lionel Messi is enjoying life at Barcelona once again.

According to the 27-year-old superstar, it wasn’t always that way just a short time ago.

“I feel happy. The truth is that I started the season in a different way after what happened to me last season,” Messi told the club website. “I had a tough year due to events off the field, injury and my form. But this season I started differently and now I feel good.”

It sure was a tough year, as poor Leo scored just 28 league goal, 41 in total, and didn’t win the Ballon d’Or for what would have been the fifth straight year. Tough life.

“I was inconsistent last season,” Messi said. “I was out for a while due to injury, missing quite a few games. When I came back I didn’t feel right. It was a year that I have tried to quickly forget to try and get back to my best through hard work, smiling and effort, like I always have and now, fortunately, I feel very good.”

The Argentinian striker missed seven league matches during the course of the season as well as three Champions League games, mostly with a hamstring tear. His club didn’t win any major titles that year, finishing second to Atletico Madrid in the league table, falling to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey finals, and finding themselves knocked out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals at the hands of Atletico. In that sense, last year was definitely a more difficult one for Barcelona as a whole, but for Messi, he still maintained his outstanding personal numbers. This season, they are still in all three races.

Also, side note from that interview, Messi said he doesn’t remember all his hat-tricks. It’s ok, we don’t either. There’s a lot.