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22.02.2010 18:42

Messi: "We cannot make mistakes"

Vanessa Forns

Barça are back in Champions league action this Tuesday evening. Lionel Messi is convinced that at this stage of the competition the key is not to make mistakes.

Barça return to the R16 of the Champions League in Stuttgart on Tuesday. According to Lionel Messi: “At this stage there’s nothing easy. A bad match can put the tie at risk”. He stressed the need to avoid mistakes and emphasized: “We need a good result to control the tie ahead of the second leg in the Camp Nou”.

"We’ll play as always"

2010-02-22_ENTRENO_01.JPGMessi is determined not to accept the tag of favourites and believes that Barça must stay true to their own brand of football: “We’ll play as always, respecting the opponent, trying to win and going for the match. We cannot make mistakes. There’s still another match. The team mustn’t go crazy”.

The team first

So far Messi has scored twice this season in the Champions League, both goals coming against Dynamo Kiev. His grand total stands at 23 so it’s not unreasonable to suppose Messi will be looking forward to getting back on the score sheet in Europe. However, he insists on putting the team before his own wishes: “The main thing is to win. Whether or not I score isn’t important. If I score, great. If not it doesn’t matter. The main thing is to go through”.

"Sometimes things don’t turn out well"

2010-02-22_ENTRENO_04.JPGMessi was also asked to comment on a magazine article in which Johan Cruyff described last weekend’s match against Racing as Barça’s worse match of the Guardiola era: “I don’t know if it was the worse. Perhaps we didn’t play as well as usual, which is what happened against Atletico Madrid. The difference is that against Racing we won. Sometimes we can play badly. We’ve been playing great football for a long time and sometimes things don’t turn out well”.

The keys to beating Stuttgart

Messi assured reporters that the players are their own most ferocious critics and are well aware if they don’t play well: “We know we didn’t have a great match and we’re our own harshest critics. Now let’s hope it doesn’t happen again. At this stage we cannot allow any mistakes. In the league Real Madrid won’t drop points and in the Champions League if you lose then you’re out”. As for the tactics to employ against Stuttgart: “The same as always: possession, fast play and going for the opponent”.

Finally, Messi commented on Real Madrid’s last league performance, though he stressed that now was the time to focus on the Champions League: “Real Madrid looked great and so did Cristiano. They’re a great team, with some very good players”.
Messi: “We cannot make mistakes“

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"I’m the same as always"
Two seasons ago, Barça and Stuttgart met in the Champions League group stage. Barça won 2-0 in Germany thanks to goals from Puyol and Messi. When asked what has changed since then, Messi was adamant: “My playing style is the same. I’m the same as always though obviously if I can improve then I will. We’ll try and win just like we did then”.

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