Argentine says Catalans must return to their previous eye-catching form against fierce rivals.
Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi has issued a strong rallying call to his team-mates ahead of the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against arch-rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
The two Spanish giants played out a 1-1 draw in the first encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu, however, in the intervening period the Catalans have suffered a shock 2-0 loss against AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at San Siro.
And, despite still being a massive 16 points clear of third-placed Madrid in the Liga standings, the Argentina international has called on his fellow Barca players to step up to the plate when they take on Real for a place in the King’s Cup final.
“Against Madrid we will have to produce our best football as we will be against a great rival,” said Messi on BBC Sport.
“We need to get back to playing how we were doing before and not think about what happened in Milan or the Sevilla game.
“We have to pull ourselves together because there are some decisive games coming up.
“The cup and the Champions League are down to us and we aren’t concentrating on the opposition. Physically the team is in good shape and I am used to playing in all the games.”