Tello pleased with Barcelona starting berth

The 21-year-old expressed his delight at being given more game-time after scoring a double on Sunday but is coy on his chances of retaining a place for the visit of Bayern Munich
Barcelona forward Cristian Tello says he is enjoying his spell in the starting line-up after netting twice in the 3-0 win over Zaragoza on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has been boosted by a regular starting berth in La Liga games in recent weeks due to many first-teamers being rested for crucial European games and, having struck a double in the recent victory, Tello says he is thriving on the confidence afforded to him by coach Tito Vilanova.

"I am enjoying having the confidence of the coach and things are going well for me. But mostly I'm just happy to have been able to help the team," he told reporters after his game.

The forward also refused to be drawn on what this now meant for his chances of securing regular football, with the challenge of Bayern Munich later this month looming large.

"The Champions League is a spectacular competition, but my role is very clear. I will always work to try make the most of the opportunities I am given," he said.

Thiago, who opened the scoring in Zaragoza, also noted the marked absence of Lionel Messi's influence, who was left out of the squad as a precautionary measure after picking up a hamstring injury in late March

The midfielder said: "We felt the lack of the best player in the world. He was missing but we had very good players performing in his place."

Messi was left out of the squad to face Zaragoza as a precautionary measure after recently returning from a hamstring injury.