Lionel Messi picked up two awards at Marca's La Liga award ceremony on Monday, and used the platform to discuss his long-awaited return from injury as Barca lost 4-3 to Real Betis at Camp Nou. 

Picking up the top-scorer award for his 34 La Liga goals in the 2017/18 season, as well as the MVP trophy, the presentation came the day after he scored twice to take his tally for the season to 14 goals in 13 games, in his first appearance for his side since October 20th. 

"At first I was a bit scared of contact and getting hit by the ball," Messi said, via Barcelona's Twitter account.

"But after some time I started feeling more and more comfortable. I was looking forward to getting back out on the pitch"

His brace and impressive display were not enough to prevent Betis inflicting a first home league defeat on Barcelona in over two years, but the Argentine icon was only in the mood to discuss the positives about his return.

"It is good that the league is more competitive than ever," he added, referring to Betis' shock victory. 

"Nothing is easy and anyone can beat anyone. That is good for the league and for the spectator. Hopefully we can take advantage of this."

The dramatic defeat to Betis means that while Barca remain top of La Liga, just four points now separate them from Real Madrid, who sit in sixth place after 12 matches.

Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo Alaves sit just one point behind the champions, in what is looking like a completely different title race from last season, when Barca finished 14 points ahead of Atletico in second place.