Lionel Messi 'losing passion for football'

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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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