Barcelona icon Lionel Messi, who recently picked up his third Golden Shoe award in the Catalan capital, has promised to come back even stronger in 2014 following his injury problems early this season.

The Argentina international was handed the prize after finishing as the highest league scorer in all of Europe in the 2012/2013 season.

And whilst he celebrates his newly won award, he admitted that his priority now is to get fit for action and return to his very best next year.

"My aim is to come back even stronger," the Argentine attacker told a packed audience at the old Damm brewery in Barcelona.

"I am working hard to strengthen my body and I hope to be free from injury when I return."

After suffering four muscle injuries this year and a hamstring problem, the 26-year-old reveals he has no expected date in mind to return next year.

"I haven't put any date on my return," he explained.

"It depends on how things go and when the time is right, I will come back."

However, Messi also expressed his joy, after netting 46 league goals last season and rewarded with his latest individual prize on Wednesday.

He added: "It's a very special prize and recognition for what the team have been doing over the last few years - I dedicate it to the people I love.

"[But] the Golden Shoe wasn't my priority when I was in good shape and is even less so now. My focus is on returning [from injury]."

Barcelona sit comfortably at the top of La-Liga and Lionel Messi's absence doesn't tend to affect the team-play that much.

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Topics:
Football
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
La Liga