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Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has no idea on how to stop Lionel Messi

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted that he has no idea on how to restrict the threat from Lionel Messi when his team face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. The Reds cruised to the last four of the competition after a comfortable 6-1 win over Porto and they are now scheduled to face the Blaugrana, who are deemed the front-runners to secure the trophy.

Speaking on BT Sport, Van Dijk said that he has yet to devise any strategy on limiting the threat from Messi. He added that there are 10 other players within the Blaugrana ranks and the Reds would require a collective effort in order to progress to their second Champions League final on the bounce.
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Sergio Busquets unsurprised with Lionel Messi’s consistent performances

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has said that there is no surprise element with regards to the performances of Lionel Messi in the club’s shirt. The Argentina international recently reached the 40-goal landmark for the 10th season on the bounce after he bagged a brace in the 2-0 triumph over Espanyol.

Speaking after the game, Busquets lauded the efforts of the club captain but stressed that the players are not surprised with what he does on the playing field, he said: “His (Messi’s) performances may be unusual from the outside, but they do not surprise us. “What he does in training is more difficult in matches, but we are used to it.”
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Carlos Alena says Lionel Messi has helped him settle with Barcelona’s first-team

Spanish midfielder Carlos Alena has credited Lionel Messi for helping him settle with the Barcelona first-team. The youngster has made his breakthrough with the Blaugrana during the ongoing campaign where he has already a total of 15 appearances while earning promotion from the club’s reserve side.

Speaking to reporters, Alena said that Messi has been influential in helping him settle after making him feel important despite being a newcomer in the setup, he said: “He acts like a captain and he helped me a lot when I came into the setup. He told me to play quietly because there’s always pressure in the first team, but in the end you play with stars. He made me feel bigger, he’s a really nice guy. I’ve been at the club for 14 years and I’ve seen my idols a thousand times on TV or on the pitch, I share experiences with them now on a daily basis in the dressing room and on the pitch. It’s a dream come true and I’m learning a lot.”
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Barcelona president confident of Lionel Messi signing another contract

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident that Lionel Messi will pen another long-term contract with the club which may see out the remainder of his playing career. The Argentine is currently on a deal, which is due to expire in the summer of 2021, but talks are already underway to extend his stay for three seasons.

Speaking to RKB, Bartomeu acknowledged that the Argentine is willing to commit the remainder of his career to the Catalan giants and the club have already offered him with the option to sign a new five-year deal, he said: “Leo Messi will continue with us. He is a club player and the relationship will continue forever. He has told us that he wants to continue. We have offered him a new contract over five years and I hope we will continue discussing the deal.”
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Patrick Kluivert says Barcelona should consider Marcus Rashford move

Former Barcelona star Patrick Kluivert believes Marcus Rashford can be considered as a probable replacement for Luis Suarez at the Catalan giants in the long-term. The England international had made excellent progress with Manchester United over the past three year and he most recently bagged his 150th appearance for the club.

In a report covered by Goal.com, Kluivert indicated that they are not many strikers across the world, who would fit the scheme of things at Barcelona but he would probably pick Rashford to perform the centre-forward duties in the future, he said: “I like Marcus Rashford, a lot. It will be really difficult to get him over. But he is a good player. I don’t see a lot of players who can play in Barcelona. Aubameyang, perhaps he can play. There is not a lot. Maybe some players who can play in La Liga, young players. But for me, I think the best one is Marcus Rashford.”
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Maurizio Sarri highlights the importance of Willianto Chelsea

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has highlighted the importance of Willian to the Blues amid the recent speculation linking him with Barcelona. The Brazil international had been the subject of three failed bids from the Spanish champions during the summer and reports have recently indicated that the Blues have snubbed a player-plus-cash deal from the Blaugrana for their player.

Amidst this, Sarri has been regularly questioned about the attacker’s position with the club though the stance from the club remains unchanged. In a report covered by Sky Sports News, the Italian tactician clarified that he has no clue regarding the transfer proceedings but he has no desire to part ways with Willian before the end of the month.
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Arthur praying for Neymar’s return to Barcelona

Barcelona midfielder Arthur has said that he would welcome the prospect of working with Neymar at the Camp Nou in the future. The Brazil international made a world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain from the Catalan giants last year but he has already been touted for a probable comeback amid suggestions that he is unsettled at Parc des Princes.

 

 

When asked on this regard, Arthur revealed that he has a close personal relationship with his Brazilian compatriot and he is praying for the forward to make a switch return to the Spanish champions, he told Mundo Deportivo: “I personally am praying for him to come because he is a superstar, it is indisputable.

“I think that the more great players the team has, the better. Personally, I’m doing a lot of work to get him back, but he has his life, he knows what he’s doing and I do not know how deep those negotiations are, if there are options for him to come or not. But he is a personal friend and a professional that I admire a lot and would be very happy if he could come back here.”

Neymar had been constantly linked with Real Madrid during the summer shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo made the shock move away from the European champions. However, Les Parisiens’ hierarchy thereafter clarified that they have no concerns with the commitment of the attacker but this has not entirely ceased the speculation going around.

The former Santos graduate joined the French heavyweights during the previous season with the aim of potentially leading their attack while competing for the Ballon d’Or. Butthings have not paved the way as planned with Kylian Mbappe currently posing a strong competitor alongside him for the individual accolades in years to come. Neymar currently has more than three years remaining on his contract with the club.

Mazinho – Rafinha could part ways with Barcelona in January

Rafinha’s father Mazinho has suggested that the Brazilian could make way from Barcelona when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year. The 25-year-old has recently been in the Blaugrana mix, having been involved in three of the club’s previous five league matches but there remain genuine concerns regarding the gametime with the Catalan giants.

Speaking to Radio Galicia Sport, Mazinho highlighted that his son is far from pleased with the current situation with the Spanish champions and an exit could be on the cards when the transfer window reopens in less than 45 days’ time, he said: “It’s crazy, he can’t understand anything. Only the coach knows what he has or doesn’t have. The truth is that we’re trying to get Rafa into a situation where he plays regularly. We have to look for an exit because it’s really complicated for him here [at Barcelona]. It’s been basically two years hardly playing and he needs a club to give him 30 or 40 games a season.”
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Luciano Spalletti: Inter Milan aiming to reach the level of current Barcelona side

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has said that his team are looking to reach the standards set by the current Barcelona squad in the future. The Nerazzurri come into the Champions League encounter after bagging seven straight league wins but they were outclassed during the reverse fixture of the European competition.

Speaking to reporters, Spalletti was full of praise for the current Blaugrana side and believes the Nerazzurri can consider their opponents as the benchmark to make progress towards the right direction, he said: “We’ve always said that we can play against any opponent… this is the chance to see if we really can compete against any side.
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