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23.02.2009 19:38

Messi: “It’s an even tie”

Anna Segura

Far from agreeing with those who say Barça are favourites in the last 16 of the Champions League, Leo Messi believes that at this stage of the competition “anyone can beat anyone else” and so “it’s going to be a tough game”.

Just a fortnight ago Leo Messi was in France playing for Argentina in a friendly against France at Marseille. But this Tuesday the game at Stade de Gerlande will be competitive as Barça are back in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Tipped as favourites

23-02-09_WEB_MESSI_03.jpgLeo Messi knows that Lyon think Barça are favourites but he doesn’t agree. “It’s an even tie,” he said. “At this stage of the competition anyone can beat anyone else and it’ll be a tough game.” The only advantage he sees is having the second leg at home.

Getting back on a winning track

After the weekend’s defeat to Espanyol, Leo Messi sees the Lyon match as a chance for the team to get back on a winning track. “It’s a great opportunity,” he noted.

Excited about the Champions League

23-02-09_WEB_MESSI_02.jpgEven though he was there when Barça won the Champions League in Paris, the Argentine didn’t play in the game as he’d only just come back from serious injury. So he’s particularly anxious to win the competition again. “I felt part of that win but not much,” he said. “That’s why I’d like to win it again and play in all the games.”

Benzema and Juninho

Messi is key in Josep Guardiola’s side while Lyon have Benzema. “He’s a great player and really important for them,” said the Argentine. “He really makes a difference.”

He also spoke about the threat posed by Juninho from free-kicks. “He’s one of the best free-kick takers around,” he said, “so we have to be careful not to give them away around the box.”
Messi: “It’s an even tie”
No pressure in the League
Leo Messi also spoke about the Spanish League. “We’ve got to say calm, as we’re still first and we’ve got to continue working as we have been doing,” he argued. “It’s up to us and the League still has a long way to go.”

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