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Vilanova not concerned by Messi reliance

Tito Vilanova insists he is not concerned by suggestions that Barcelona rely too heavily on Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has missed four league games since picking up a hamstring injury in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain and, although he played a key part in the second leg against the French side, the 25-year-old was ineffective as Barca slumped to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

That result has led to questions over the ability of the Liga leaders to perform without Messi, however, Vilanova feels it is natural for a side’s displays to suffer when bereft of a player of that calibre.

He said: “It’s quite normal for us to notice when Messi is absent, who wouldn’t?

“[Depending on Messi] is nothing new and it’s normal since he’s the best in the world. We hope to be dependent on him for many years.”

One player Barcelona look set to lose on a permanent basis is Victor Valdes, who has made clear his desire to leave the club. In spite of the 31-year-old’s decision, Vilanova insists there is no ill feeling between himself and the goalkeeper.

“I haven’t talked to Victor, but he was clear when he said he wouldn’t continue with us, he never left a door opened,” he added.

“If it was a player who didn’t know Barcelona, I could try to convince him talking about the good things this club and this city have but I can’t do that with Victor as he knows this club as well as I do.

” I don’t have any problem, if he wants to continue next year he is more than welcome.”
Fri 26 Apr, 2013
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