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The Blaugrana can almost taste success as the end of the season approache,s but ‘El Messias’ is still wary of the threat posed by some of their close rivals.

Barcelona wizard Lionel Messi has taken one last opportunity to preach caution in the hunt for Primera Division and Champions League glory before he and his team-mates break for World Cup qualifying duties this week.

Back in Buenos Aires to rejoin his Argentina colleagues, Messi spoke about the need to stay focused on the task at hand while also enjoying the game.

“I take football very seriously and with great commitment because there is always a lot at stake in a game. But I also allow myself to enjoy it and in certain matches, like the one at the weekend [against Malaga], I enjoyed myself on the pitch,” he said in an interview with Sport.

“It is very rewarding to be able to give the joy back to all the fans who support us. To look over at the stands and watch a young boy screaming and cheering for our goals, that’s an image that stays with you forever.”

As Barca promptly return to form after a brief stumble and with the finishing line in La Liga fast approaching, Messi has admitted that the team are now starting to feel optimistic of success - but he warned his fellow Blaugrana not to take their foot off the gas.

“We are very confident that we can move a step closer to our goals. We do not think about what others are doing, only what we can do on the field ourselves,” he urged.

“The important thing is to not lose our humility and stop thinking that we have already won everything, because we have not won anything yet and there’s still some way to go. But we have reasons to dream.”

‘El Mesias’ spent a part of Argentina’s training session yesterday joking around with Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis, but there will be no such tomfoolery two weeks from now when the two go face to face in the Champions League.

“Bayern are a great team, but in the Champions League, there are no easy rivals. We must get a strong result at home in the first leg and have faith in the team,” he concluded.

Messi is expected to don the famous No. 10 shirt for Los Albicelestes when they take on Venezuela this Saturday and Bolivia next Wednesday in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers.

KS Leong, Goal.com

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