Messi Gets in Champions League Mood Ahead of Napoli Tie [LOOK]

Lionel Messi

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Lionel Messi has been getting in Champions League mood ahead of Barcelona’s last-16 second leg against Napoli on August 8.

The Barcelona captain has taken time out to sit down and share one of his favorite memories in Europe’s top competition, namely his team’s victory over Manchester United in 2011.

Messi shared a picture on Instagram of himself watching the match with the message: “One of my favorite Champions League memories… not long until it’s back!

Barcelona ran out 3-1 winners at Wembley Stadium, with Messi producing a masterclass for the Catalan giants and scoring their second goal.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has since described just how difficult it was playing against Messi that night at Wembley in an interview with Copa 90.

“Barca gave us an absolute lesson at Wembley. I was standing there watching them lift the trophy and me, Giggsy and Scholesy were standing together with our hands over our mouths and I said: ‘I feel embarrassed lads.’ He [Messi] took liberties.”

Messi has won the European Cup four times in his career and will go in search of his fifth title in August when the competition restarts after being suspended earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Napoli Up Next for Barcelona

Barcelona are due to return to training on Tuesday to begin their preparations for the Napoli clash. The first-team have enjoyed some days off after a hectic end to the league season in Spain.

The tie is currently level at 1-1 after the first leg in Italy, leaving Barcelona narrow favorites to progress. The Catalan giants have home advantage for the return fixture and have not lost a tie at the Camp Nou in European competitions since 2013.

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has warned his team they will need to be on their game if they are to have any chance of knocking out Quique Setien’s side.

“Against Sassuolo we played correctly, but Barcelona have [Lionel] Messi, who gets the ball, leaves 10 players behind and passes it underneath seven. If we play thinking that they are in poor form then we’re heading to the hospital or the cemetery.”

However, Barcelona do have problems ahead of the match. Defenders Samuel Umtiti, Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet are currently injured, leaving Gerard Pique as the only fit center-back.

Forwards Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele are also injury doubts ahead of the match, while key midfielders Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal are sidelined through suspension.

Barcelona will once again look to Messi for inspiration against Napoli and will hope their captain can lead them to victory and a place in the last eight of the tournament which will be held in Lisbon.

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