Lionel Messi has praised Barcelona colleague Alexis Sanchez and believes injuries hindered the Chile international’s contribution last term.
Sanchez, 23, joined Barca from Udinese in July 2011, and made 41 appearances in all competitions for his new club despite enduring a series of muscle injuries.
Argentina international Messi is hoping his fellow South American forward will play an even bigger role for the team in 2012/13.
“It is not easy to adapt to new surroundings as an outsider,” Messi was quoted as saying by Terra Chile.
“All of a sudden, he had new team-mates and a new playing style to get used to. I think he did a good job.
“He has had some bad luck with a number of injuries that kept him on the sidelines for a number of games, so hopefully he’ll have more luck next season.
“He’s a very sympathetic guy, who has adapted very well to all the new people surrounding him, and has picked up on Barcelona’s specific style of play.”
Alexis netted 11 goals in 25 Liga appearances for Barcelona last term.