Lionel Messi: Barcelona star hopes to 'peak at right time'

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi is confident of hitting top form for the title run-in and World Cup.

The 26-year-old returned last month from his second injury of the season.

He told BBC Football Focus: "I'm very well, full of energy and with a lot of hope. I was able to play again after a long time.

"I'm happy with my current form and slowly but surely I will be getting there to hopefully peak at the right time of the year."

He added: "I hope this could be a great year not only for me but also for Barcelona and for Argentina.

Messi not amongst the goals

Lionel Messi has scored only nine league goals this season from 15 appearances

He scored 46 last season, 50 the year before that and exceeded 30 in the two preceding campaigns

"I think this World Cup arrives at a good time for Argentina. We have grown as a team on and off the pitch. We have a great bunch of lads that love to play for our country. I think we will get to Brazil in a great shape and with all the chances in the world.

"It will be extra special, well above all the other World Cups - it is in Brazil, with everything that means for us. Our supporters will be there in their thousands and with them behind us I'm sure we can achieve something very, very special."

Messi spent three weeks out with a thigh injury earlier in the season and then had another two months out with a hamstring problem before making his return in January.

Barcelona are second in La Liga, only three points behind Atletico Madrid, and face Manchester City in the Champions League last 16.

Leading Real Sociedad 2-0 after the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, they are likely to face arch-rivals Real Madrid in the final.

"Every season is a new challenge," said Messi. "With Barcelona we always play for major honours and we are always asked to win them all.

"I still have a lot to learn and a huge deal to improve.

"I hope to keep performing at a high level all the way to the World Cup because we have a lot to play for with Barca, with a hard tie in the Champions League, and a very hard La Liga and Copa del Rey to deal with.

"To desire to keep winning things are my main motivation. I want to keep going and win them all."

You can listen to the full Lionel Messi interview in BBC Football Focus on BBC1 on Saturday at 12:00 GMT.