MX23RW : Friday, February 26 10:09:49| >> :60:1960:1960:
Apr 20, 2014 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou
Barcelona
2-1
Athletic Bilbao
Pedro (72'), Messi (75')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Aduriz (50')

Ernesto Valverde: 'Lionel Messi criticism is harsh'

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde claims that too much is asked of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde believes that the recent criticism of Lionel Messi has been over the top.

The Barcelona star has been subdued in recent games, with the Catalan giants losing their last three, but the Athletic boss feels that too much is sometimes asked of the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"The thing is that Messi is asked to pull a rabbit out of the hat every game, when he is the most marked man of all, and that's hard," he told reporters.

"He is not enjoying the form he had before, but he can unbalance a match at any time."

Valverde's side travel to Camp Nou on Sunday.

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Athletic Bilbao's forward Aritz Aduriz celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Athletic Club Bilbao vs Malaga CF at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao on April 14, 2014
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