The Argentine forward was hit hard by criticism from English and Spanish press following Barcelona’s Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday but Balague has backed up the forward. Messi, who ran just 6.8kms on Wednesday night, only more than keeper Jose Pinto has been in superb form since he returned from injury earlier this year, scoring 12 goals in his last 10 games. Writing on his daily piece for Spanish daily AS, Balague wrote: “The debate of Leo Messi in England and in the media. What is wrong? In fact, is something wrong? The statistics do not lie. He still has the same number of passes, shoots the same number of times and does more or less the same number of sprints. His affectiveness is still extraordinary.”Balague then touched on the future of Messi after several reports linking him with a move to Manchester City or Paris Saint Germain. It was said that City or PSG were following the Argentine’s negotiations with Barcelona but the club’s latest offer has strained their ears.