Messi targets titles not goals
Barcelona forward hoping return of Villa can help trophy bid
Last Updated: July 18, 2012 1:24pm
Lionel Messi: Back in pre-season training with Barcelona and targeting trophies
Lionel Messi has stressed that titles are more important than individual records after his personal-best season with Barcelona.
The Argentine forward scored a staggering 73 goals last season as Barca won the Copa del Rey, World Club Cup and both European and Spanish Super Cups.
But the main prizes eluded them with Real Madrid winning La Liga and Chelsea defeating the Catalan side in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
And Messi believes the early signs from pre-season training are that Tito Vilanova can build on what his predecessor Pep Guardiola achieved at the Nou Camp.
"What Tito Vilanova has done in these two days (of pre-season training) is exactly what Pep did in his four years," the 25-year-old told Marca.
"The same hard-working people remain, everything is equal and we start in the same way.
"I am not looking to beat my level of goals. This isn't my objective. My objective is to win titles and this for us is fundamental.
"Every year is difficult. Real Madrid won the league last year and this season will be very difficult. Our objective is to fight until the end. This year we will do the same.
"I try to improve every year. I try to continue my level and continue growing with the team and the players we have.
"I always try to take advantage of the moment and I hope that this year will be the same and I won't have to lose any game."
Barcelona welcome back David Villa to full fitness after Spain's all-time record goalscorer missed the second half of the season - including Euro 2012 - due to a broken leg.
Messi believes his return could be an important factor in the coming season.
He added: "We don't lack any forward with the players we have got. Villa is recuperating very well and we hope he will return to his best level. He is a very important footballer for us."