Paris Saint-Germain's Javier Pastore has countered criticism of his recent poor form ahead of his team's crucial match against Lille at the Stadium Lille Metropole on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who arrived from Palermo last summer for a fee of €40 million, has scored 13 goals in 38 appearances but has come under fire from critics in the French capital.
"It's normal. Even players like [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo were criticised after they were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League," he told his club's website.
"It is very difficult to maintain the same level over a whole season. I had ups and downs but I always tried to improve. The most important thing is to keep winning."
Despite this, the Argentine playmaker now has his sights set on a win over Sunday's opponents, in the fight for the Ligue 1 title.
"I agree that it's a very important week because the match against Lille is paramount.
"If we win, we stay in the hunt to win the championship. We have to win all our remaining matches and play well, and wait for Montpellier to slip up. But the most important thing is to keep winning.
“Lille are one of the teams that play the best football in the league. Since the start of the season, they have played some really great matches. They really deserve to qualify for the Champions League."
With five matches remaining, Pastore hopes to top the pile, but admitted the campaign would not be a failure if they fell short.
"It would not be a failure, however a huge disappointment would be missing out on the Champions League for next season. But we'd just need to keep working hard to win the title next year," he said.
PSG sit in second place in Ligue 1 with 67 points, five behind leaders Montpellier.
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