Lionel Messi says he feels back to his best after what he feels was a difficult 2014 plagued with off-field problems, Goal reports.
The Argentine was came under criticism towards the end of last season as his side lost out on the Liga title to Atletico Madrid and were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, while the player himself was beaten to the FIFA Ballon d’Or by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Off the field, he became the subject of a tax investigation, with a threat of possible jail time looming over him.
The 27-year-old, however, says he has recovered from a rough year and is happy with his personal life and his performances.
“I am happy. The truth is that I started the season in another way after what happened to me last year,” he told Barca’s official website. “I had a difficult year for what happened off the field, for my injuries and my performance. But this year I started differently and now I feel great.
“Last year I had an uneven season. I was out with injuries and missed many games. When I returned to the pitch, it never ended well. It was a year that I’ve tried to forget quickly to get back to my best version. Luckily now I feel fine.”
The Catalan side failed to pick up a major trophy last season and Messi feels that disappointment has motivated the players to return to picking up silverware this term.
“We came from a time when each year we were winning a title, and perhaps we did not value what we were winning,” he added.
“It was a bad year in which we won nothing, and now, when they get back some success, we will see how important they are and enjoy them more because we know they are very hard to achieve.”
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner is nearing his 400th Barcelona goal and he said he wants to keep adding to his tally once he reaches the milestone.
“It’s nice to score goals. Some are special, but it’s the same. By now every goal is a goal, but it is nice to know that I can keep adding to them and remain in the history of this great club.”
The attacker also praised team-mates Luis Suarez and Neymar, stating that they add a new dimension to the team’s front line.
“Barcelona have always had great forwards, not just now with Neymar and Luis. But it’s true that we are taking advantage of them because they are both great world stars. They give us another thing than goals, so in that sense, I’m calm.”