Tagged: lionel messi

Van Gaal blames Messi for Barcelona’s recent Champions League failure

Dutch manager Louis van Gaal has said that Lionel Messi should take more of the blame for the club’s failure to win the Champions League crown in the past four seasons. The Blaugrana have generally been touted as one of the favourites to reach the final of the competition but they have not quite lived up to the expectations of late.

Speaking to El Pais, Van Gaal admitted that Messi is the best individual player in the world and he must take more responsibility for the average Champions League performance of the team, given he is the head coach, he said: “I like Messi as an individual player. He is the best individual player in the world because his statistics are amazing.
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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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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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Messi Demands Barcelona Don’t Sell Mascherano

Lionel Messi has demanded that Barcelona don’t sell long-time star Javier Mascherano, according to reports in Spain. Mascherano, 33, is likely approaching the tail end of his career, but Spanish outlet Diario Gol claim Lionel Messi is determined that his Argentina teammate should not be let go from the club.

Barcelona let veteran defender Dani Alves leave for Juventus in 2016, only for the Brazil star to shine in Serie A and lead his team to the Champions League final. That was particularly frustrating for the Catalan giants as they struggled to find a replacement for him at left-back in the 2016/17 season. And Diario Gol say Messi is keen for the same situation not to arise again next season. The report claims the Barca talisman wants Mascherano to operate as a rotational player behind Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique in the pecking order. Continue reading…