Lionel Messi 'losing passion for football'

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona takes to the field for the La Liga match between Real Betis and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on November 10, 2013
© Getty Images
Lionel Messi is losing his passion for football, according to former Barcelona and Real Madrid assistant coach Angel Cappa.

Lionel Messi is losing his passion for football, according to one of his Argentine compatriots.

Angel Cappa, a former assistant coach at Barcelona and Real Madrid, believes that the 26-year-old forward looks "switched off", possibly due to his recent injury worries.

"You need to be brimming with passion to play football, the way Messi was, the way the great players were, Maradona... any big player in the first division - Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets. You need real passion, you need the energy that comes from that undying love of the game," Marca quotes Cappa as saying.

"I don't know if it's because of his injury or for some other reason, but he looks a little switched off. I see him doing his job professionally... an amateur feels football in his guts and plays with that passion. If a player plays like a professional, he stops performing."

Lionel Messi lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo in this year's Ballon D'Or.

Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino on the touchline during the Champions League group match against Celtic on October 1, 2013
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2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
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