Vilanova: Messi continues to make the difference

The 42-year-old coach was lost for words trying to describe the Argentine following his three-goal show, but admitted that he does not know when David Villa will play again
Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has heaped praise on Lionel Messi following his side's 8-0 thrashing of Moroccan club Raja Casablanca in Tangier on Saturday.

The diminutive attacker bagged a hat-trick for the Blaugrana in what was his first pre-season appearance after missing the match against Hamburg on Tuesday.

"When you have the best player in the world, with this scoring capacity, he usually makes the difference, and once again he did it," Vilanova told reporters.

"This match was good to pick up the pace because we faced a team that made us run.

"The players from the youth side? They always play well. Everyone played at a very high level tonight."

David Villa has not yet featured for Barca since sustaining a fractured tibia at the Club World Cup in December, and Vilanova admitted he is unsure when the 30-year-old will be able to play again.

"We are talking about a serious injury, with a long recovery time," he noted. "When he is fine, we will be delighted to welcome him back.

"He has taken a very big step in the last month."

The Spanish coach then commented on the controversy surrounding the cancellation of the Supercopa Catalunya, thanks to the Blaugrana's decision not to field their first team against rivals Espanyol.

"I understand that not everyone can be happy," Vilanova said. "But I would like it if people could understand us, because that is the only week in which everyone can train together.

"We will have two matches the following week and several players will join their respective national teams.

"I shared my concerns with the club and they decided that the B team would play."

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