Messi

MADRID: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova on Tuesday said the secret of the team’s Argentine star Lionel Messi’s success was that he still plays as if he was in the youth team.

“Leo’s greatest quality is that he still plays like he did in the juniors. That’s the difference and also the challenge that he’s given himself,” said Vilanova after 25-year-old Messi scored his 86th goal of 2012 on Sunday, setting a new record.

Vilanova, who also coached the player in the Catalan giants’ youth set-up, added: “He was already very good at the time and you don’t need to be a coach to say that. I relish the fact that I saw him play when he was 15 and I’m still watching him now.”