Barça's Dani Alves admits team-mate Messi has lacked 'spark'
Barcelona's Dani Alves believes that team-mate Lionel Messi has lacked 'spark' in recent games as the Argentine suffers a dip in form.
Despite having scored in Barcelona's last 17 games, Messi has come in for criticism over his form and Alves says his form has not the best.
"I think Lionel's the same as before on a day-to-day basis; I think he's fine. But I'm no hypocrite; I don't dress things up. It's obvious that he's been lacking some spark in recent games," the Brazilian told El Mundo Deportivo.
"Why? I don't know. I haven't tried to find out. I only want to know what people want to tell me. And if someone doesn't want to talk about their life or what they're going through, then who am I to ask? I respect his privacy.
"But I've noticed that his head has been down a bit more than usual. I think what sets him apart from the rest is that he has a lot of character and when he gets it wrong, he keeps trying."
Barcelona are currently preparing for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Milan on Tuesday, having lost the first leg at San Siro 2-0 back in February.