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Barcelona are better than Real Madrid says Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi thinks that Barcelona are still a better team than Real Madrid as the build-up to this month's El Clasico intensifies.

The Argentina international is aware that Jose Mourinho's team currently have the edge in the title race but fully expects Barca to eventually clinch their third successive crown.

He said: "I think that Real Madrid are stronger than last season, but the same thing happens every year - they are our main rivals.

"Last year they pushed us up until the final matchday. They've kept nearly all of their important players, but I think the key is the mental change since Jose Mourinho arrived.

"They are still a really great team, but you can see that they've got a greater winning mentality right from the off.

"El Clasico will be a huge game, it always is. I tend to do well in these games. I suppose that they will be really fired up, but I think if we play the way that we are capable of, we will definitely beat them this time too.

"They might have strengthened, but in my opinion Barcelona are still the better side. I have no doubt it will be a game to savour both for the players on the pitch and the fans off it."

Meanwhile, head coach Pep Guardiola says that instinct is more important in his decision-making process than logic or coaching manuals.

The 39-year-old has enjoyed a wealth of success since taking charge at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2008 and has been praised for encouraging an entertaining and attacking style of play.

Guardiola told AS: "I do what I feel. I place more emphasis on instinct rather than logic, for example when making a change of players during a game.

"There are no magic books for coaching. How the team plays, like chess, is the most important thing to being a coach and everything else is secondary.

"Having lost at times I have been more satisfied that when we have won.

"If the team loses, it has been because I have not conveyed my ideas to them correctly."