The Argentine coach has hailed the attacker's display on Wednesday and feels the Catalans are obligated to win their groupGerardo Martino said Lionel Messi was "phenomenal" as Barcelona brushed aside AC Milan 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
The Argentina international netted a double at Camp Nou to help his side to the full three points and sealed qualification for the knockout stages in the process.
And after struggling to find his best form in recent weeks, Martino was delighted with his compatriot's return to top form.
"Making negative assertions about Leo has risks. He played phenomenally well today," the Barca coach said at a press conference.
Martino then went on to voice his satisfaction with the Blaugrana's qualification for the knockout stages and stressed that they must now secure top spot in Group H.
"Because there are no real surprises in the groups you can assume that the favourites will get through, but you never know who you will draw in the next round. We wanted to get out of the group early in order to feel better.
"Qualifying on matchday four means the pressure is off, but we still have an obligation to finish first in the group."
Barcelona take on Ajax on matchday five before finishing the group stages with a home game against Celtic.