Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman responds to Lionel Messi "lazy" claims

Ronald Koeman insists he "isn't interested" by suggestions that Lionel Messi is not working hard enough.

The Barcelona boss was forced to address the accusations after the club's star was seen walking, rather than pressing, in the final moments of their Champions League win against Dynamo Kiev.

Messi had scored from the spot earlier in the contest, but the Catalan's start to the season has been less than impressive.

The Argentine's desire to leave in the summer has seen people question his commitment throughout the season.

But Koeman has shouldered any blame for a lack of effort insisting it would be down to his methods rather than the player's laziness.

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"I didn't seem him [walking] and I'm not interested in this because I don't see him walking," the Barca head coach said on Friday.

"If you want to start a controversy around this point, it's your problem.

"Messi is mentally good, enjoying this sport. He's a winner and sometimes you go through moments when the ball doesn't go in, but he looks really focused on that subject.

"I think Messi still has so many qualities. He's very important in our game. He scored the penalty and we're used to him making the difference here, and he's still a very decisive player.

"You said [the footage was from] the 93rd minute – there are pictures of anyone, of me when I'm sitting down, or annoyed. It seems we should be more aware of our image than our work. I don't agree with that. 

"I think these players, like those of my era, have the same effort as us. They work in training, they want to win and it annoys them when they don't win.

"If it were not like this, it'd be because my work isn't working."

Barcelona are currently 12th in La Liga having gone winless in their past four league games while Messi has scored just four times in nine outings.

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