Lionel Messi has said he is relishing the competitiveness of La Liga this season after being named the league’s best player of the 2017-18 campaign by Marca at an awards ceremony in Barcelona on Monday.
The thirty-one-year old returned from injury to score twice as Barca were beaten four-three at home to Real Betis on Sunday. The Catalans remain top of the table with 24 points from 12 games but are just one point ahead of Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Alaves.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are sixth with 20 points and just eight points separate Barca and 12th-placed Betis. After picking up the Alfredo Di Stefano Trophy for the sixth time in his career, Messi said it is good that the league is more competitive than ever.
Messi made his return to action against Betis following a three-week layoff due to a broken bone in his arm. He admitted he was nervous before the game but said he is feeling as good as ever going into the international break.