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Pedro on Messi: "Team-mates always argue with each other"

"These types of things always happen, and they should stay on the pitch. These things happen to Messi and they happen to me too."


Talk of Leo Messi dominated Pedro Rodríguez's press conference after Barcelona's training session on Monday, ahead of the club's Champions League last 16 first leg match with AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday.

The Spain and Barcelona forward denied that his team are dependent on the Argentine, and played down the importance of Messi's disputes with his team-mates during matches, such as the argument he had with Cristian Tello during the 2-1 win over Granada last Saturday.

Pedro also gave his thoughts on the threat that seven-time European Cup winners Milan pose to his side.

Messi arguing with team-mates: "You always have disputes on the pitch, it just shows his ambition. These types of things always happen, and they should stay on the pitch. These things happen to him, and they happen to me. Sometimes you make the wrong decision and these types of arguments occur, but they don't mean anything."

Are the team told to play for Messi?"We have complete freedom on the pitch, but of course, you're always looking to pass to some players more than others, such as Xavi, Iniesta, Fàbregas or Messi."

Are the team dependent on Messi?"No. He's clearly a key player for us because of what he contributes and his goals, he always drives the team forward and you can always tell when he's not playing, but we're a strong team and I don't think we are dependent on him."

AC Milan:"They have always been difficult opponents for us. They have very dangerous players and they are just as dangerous as they were two seasons ago. Anything can happen in the Champions League. It's difficult to choose a favourite in a Champions League knock out tie."

Conceding goals:"We'll go out to play in the same way we always do, keeping possession of the ball and going on the attack. It's true that we've conceded more goals than we thought we would but the team is strong in every area of the pitch. We're not going to reserve ourselves [for the second leg], we're going to go for the win, like we always do, with everyone attacking. We'll have to concentrate hard at all times and be vigilant in defence and also play the game our way."

Will the team reserve their energy for big games?"We take each game as it comes and every game is important. We want to win every competition and we always go out to win every single game, we don't reserve ourselves for any match."

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