Barcelona hero Messi hopes for 'a year without injuries'

The Argentine has seen the back end of 2013 hampered by hamstring troubles and says that his principal wish for 2014 is for his career to resume without interruption
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has revealed that his only wish for the new year is to enjoy an injury-free 2014.

The Argentina star saw a hamstring injury bring a premature end to the 2012-13 season and a similar problem has left him on the sidelines since November.

The 26-year-old looks set to return to action for the Blaugrana's clash with Elche on January 5 and hopes that it is the beginning of a prosperous year.

He told Argentine TV show 'Mundo Leo': "There are many important things in the human part but, sports-wise, what I ask for 2014 is a year without injuries.

"The goal now is to be physically fit and the idea is to get a couple of practice sessions with my team-mates before playing again.

"After celebrating the end of the year with my people, next Wednesday, January 1, I'll fly to Barcelona and, after my arrival, we'll see when I'm OK to play again."

Barca qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League without their star man but have seen their lead at the top of La Liga whittled down, with the club level on 46 points with second-placed Atletico Madrid.