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19.12.2008 13:53

Messi: "It will not be easy"

Anna Segura

Lionel Messi believes that when FC Barcelona meet Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League “it will not be easy as it is a knockout tie and there are no easy opponents at this stage”.

Speaking to the assembled media in the press room at Camp Nou on Friday afternoon, Messi reflected on the Champions League draw that saw Barça paired with French champions Lyon. The Argentinian forward wanted to express caution with many saying it was a good draw. “They are a difficult team,” he explained. “People may think that we have drawn a team with a lesser name, but it will not be easy. At this stage of the competition there are no easy teams.”

Familiar opponents

fcblyon2_x1x.jpgLast term Barça and Lyon met in the Champions League group stages and Messi has good memories of the two matches as he scored in both. “We played twice against them and saw first-hand just how good a team they are,” he commented.

Not just Benzema

QM3D2816.jpgWhile many in the media may focus on ways to stop Lyon’s star forward Karim Benzema, Messi thinks that would be wrong. “We will look at their team as a whole because they have some great players all over,” he stated.

Plenty of time

Before the next stage of the Champions League takes place in February, there are plenty of league and Copa del Rey game first. “There is a long way to go before we play them,” Messi said. “We want to meet them in good form, but first we have to think about Villarreal, which will be a tough game.”

Tackling el clásico

QM3D2886.jpgMessi then spoke about the tackles that he received from Real Madrid’s players and whether referees should be doing more to protect players from them. “The referees have to be left to do the best that they can and we should not be putting more pressure on them,” he explained.

Despite some of the challenges, Messi does not believe Madrid players were looking to injure him. “No player goes out with the intention of hurting an opponent,” he continued before stating that he did not complain as much as Fabio Cannavaro has made out this week: “I know that is not so and I prove it in every game.”
Messi: “It will not be easy“

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Penalty kicks
Lionel Messi has insisted that he and Samuel Eto’o will continue to share the penalty-taking duty between them. Messi has also missed a penalty this season in the Copa del Rey against Benidorm.

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