Football

Messi targets another Barca treble

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Lionel Messi has set Barcelona's sights on a unique treble ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Catalan giants won the trophy in 2008-09, along with the UEFA Champions League and La Liga, and it's a feat the Argentine playmaker is hoping Pep Guardiola's side can repeat once again this season.

With qualification to the knockout stages in Europe's premier club competition already assured, Barca are well on their way to reclaiming the prize they won again at Wembley in May.

Winning the domestic Spanish title could prove a touch harder this term though, with arch-rivals Real Madrid three points clear ahead of this weekend's 'El Clasico' at the Bernabeu.

But it's the Club World Cup which has got Messi talking, with a Brazilian challenge expected to come in Japan.

"We're always under the obligation to win. To my mind it's a really important tournament and we'll try to come out on top, just as we always do," Messi told FIFA.com.

"We can't afford to relax either. Everyone thought the two favourites were going to reach the final last time and Internacional [of Brazil] fell short.

"We know what we're capable of and how far we can go. We've got a lot of games to get through, that's true, and it's never easy to play one match after the other and maintain top form.

"We're staying cool, calm and collected, and nobody knows what this team's capable of better than we do."

Santos are a team everyone is talking about, with Brazilian sensation Neymar leading their line and a potential head-to-head with Messi the talk of the football world.

It's a prospect that midfielder Xavi is relishing, with the Spaniard tipping the youngster for greatness in the future.

"Neymar is very talented and has amazing ability. He seems like a player destined to make a difference for any side he plays for."

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