Barcelona ace Lionel Messi admits victory over Atletico Madrid last night was essential for bragging rights amongst the Argentines that featured.

Messi was again on the mark in the 3-0 whitewash and said afterwards: "I spoke with Gabi (Milito) about the necessity of winning. We couldn't afford to lose because we faced a long trip with El Kun (Sergio Aguero) and Maxi (Rodriguez) for our international commitments.

"So with this 3-0 result, we can fly with them calmly!

"The win was very important because before the first goal Atletico had made things difficult for us. But after that, we were able to take control."