Barca boss Martino behind Messi


Messi, who recently returned from injury, was unable to stamp his authority on the first Clasico of the season.

Nevertheless, Barca prevailed via strikes either side of the break from Neymar and Alexis Sanchez, while Jese Rodriguez netted a 90th-minute consolation at Camp Nou.

"I'm not worried about Messi, that's more something for people outside the club," Martino stated at a press conference.

"Even if Lionel doesn't score, he's still important for the team. If people think Messi is not doing well with his current stats, his stats will be out of this world once he's back to his so-called best again."

Martino added: "Messi playing on the right against Madrid? He can play in a number of positions and that's only a good thing for the team."

The win earned Martino's men a six-point cushion over Madrid, as they continue to set the pace in La Liga early on.