Barcelona star Lionel Messi has admitted problems “on and off the pitch” affected him during the year of 2014.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 41 goals in 46 games last season, but failed to help Barcelona lift a single trophy and he has acknowledged what he deems as season full of problems.
“The truth is that this year I tried to get to my best form as quickly as possible. I knew I was coming off the back of a not very good year, during which I went through a lot of problems on and off the field,” the Argentina international told Mundo Leo.
“It was a challenge to change the image that I had given out last season and to be the player I had been in previous seasons again. That was my objective and that’s how I came out at the start of this season, really up for it.”
The forward then went on to discuss the upcoming Champions League tie against Manchester City, before adding his thoughts on Barca’s current form which has seen them win their last 11 competitive games.
“The truth is that we’re in good shape at the moment. Luckily, after the match against Real Sociedad everything changed. Now there is a different dynamic to the team, everything we do comes off.
“The team has a lot of confidence and we have changed the attitude and drive. That’s why we’re playing like we are at the moment, but there is still a long way to go.
“Manchester City they are a team made up of great players, so it will be a difficult tie. Their objective is to go through because they haven’t done for a while.
“It will be an even match-up and the little details will be what makes the difference. It will be a great game. City have reinforced a lot [since last season].”
The first leg of the round-of-16 tie takes place in Manchester on February 24, with the return at Camp Nou scheduled for March 18.