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Messi: "I thought it'd be the last time I touched a ball for ages"

The Argentine explained why he took a shot after feeling his knee injury, and revealed that when he was stretchered off the pitch he thought the injury was serious.

Messi: "I thought it'd be the last time I touched a ball for ages"

Lionel Messi gave a press conference from the Camp Nou on Thursday to talk about the knee injury he suffered on Wednesday during Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Benfica.

The Argentine admitted he was very concerned about the injury when he was stretchered off, but assured the press he was feeling fine now. However, he was unsure if he would be able to play against Real Betis on Sunday.

Messi also spoke about the possibility of beating Gerd Müller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year and expressed his opposition to proposed changes to teaching subjects in the Catalan language in schools in Catalonia.

How do you feel playing meaningless games? "When you go out onto any pitch there is always the risk something can happen to you. Guardiola used to play me in these games and as long as I can play and Tito allows me to play in these games, I will continue to do so."

The concerns of the football world: "I would like to take the opportunity to say thanks for the messages I have received. I haven't been able to respond to any of them because everything happened so fast so I'd like to say thanks. I couldn't feel or hear anything when I got injured. I felt touched by all the support of the Barcelona fans. I already knew they appreciated me but feeling their support made me very happy."

The Ballon d'Or and Mourinho: "I have nothing to say, the decision has been made and we have to wait until 7 January to see who the winner is."

Müller's record: "As I keep on saying, the record is not an obsession for me. I've heard my team-mates saying they are going to help me beat the record, but all of the goals I've scored are down to their help. I'm not worried about it. It would be very nice to do it because I am so close. If I do it I hope I can hold onto the record for as long as Müller but it doesn't worry me. If I can do it, great, if I can't it's no big deal. But now I am so close I'm going to go for it."

How he felt when he was stretchered off: "The truth is that I didn't really think about anything because I was in so much pain. But I feared the worst. I thought that I might have to leave the ground. I feared the worst when the doctors looked at it and examined me, but once they said it wasn't serious I felt a lot more relaxed."

Why did you shoot after feeling the injury? "I thought it was the last time I was going to touch a ball for a long time, so I decided to keep going and strike the ball."

Objectives: "My objectives are the same as always - to win things with my team and with my country, to end each year with as many trophies as possible."

Comparison between Guardiola and Vilanova: "Their philosophy and ideas are similar and we do the same things in training as we did in Barcelona."

Catalonia and independence: "The last thing I heard is that the government wants to stop teaching subjects in Catalan in schools. I learnt and grew up with Catalan and I think it's much better for education if people learn it. The more languages someone knows, the better.

Estadísticas AS.com