CL: It felt good to play 90 minutes, admits Lionel Messi

Barcelona: Barcelona star Lionel Messi was delighted to play 90 minutes on his return to the starting XI as his side thrashed Roma 6-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Argentine, who captained Barca due to Andres Iniesta’s absence, scored twice, had another goal disallowed and set one up for Gerard Pique in a fine display upon his first start since September 26.

Messi felt strong on his return to the line-up and urged his teammates to maintain that level of performance after Roma were put to the sword. "It felt good to play the 90 minutes," he told Uefa.

"Little by little I’m feeling better. I’m happy with the result and to have played 90 minutes. We’re happy with how things are going but there’s still a long way to go. We’ll try to keep our level up. I’m really happy for the praise I get, but I just want to keep helping the team and hopefully we can reach our objectives at the end of the season."

Messi’s partner up front, Luis Suarez, heaped praise on the Argentine. He said: "Messi is the best in the world and I am happy for him, for his goals and the fact he was able to play a full game on his return. We played a perfect game, very complete. Leo, Neymar and I are happy for the team and happy to play for the side."

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