Messi Looks Razor-Sharp for Barcelona Ahead of UCL Tie [WATCH]

Lionel Messi


Lionel Messi has been looking razor-sharp in Barcelona training ahead of Saturday’s last-16 second leg against Napoli at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona offered a glimpse of their captain in action at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, casually going past Sergio Busquets before dinking a cute finish past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The Catalan giants also showed how the Argentina international has been ruthless in front of goal in the build-up to the crucial match.

Messi may not have picked up a league winner’s medal this season with Barcelona but did claim the Pichichi, given to La Liga’s top scorer, for a record seventh time. The Argentine also topped the assists charts, setting a new La Liga record of 21 for a single campaign.

The Barcelona captain could still end the season with more silverware if Barcelona lift the European Cup for a sixth time this season. Yet they are likely to need the forward at his brilliant best if they are to be crowned European champions.

The Catalan giants face a tough test against Napoli on Saturday and are likely to face German champions Bayern Munich if they make it through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

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Napoli Wary of Messi Threat

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso is well aware of the threat his team will face against Messi on Saturday. The Italian spoke to reporters on Saturday about just how difficult it is to stop the Argentina international.

“I can mark Messi only in my dreams. Or if I set Napoli vs Barcelona on my son’s PlayStation, trying to catch him there when I played for Milan with 10-15 kilograms less than today.”

The Serie A side finished off their 2019-20 league campaign on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Lazio. However, the win may have come at a cost, as captain Lorenzo Insigne was forced off due to injury.

Insigne looked to be in tears as he walked off, but Gattuso said he was hopeful the injury is not as bad as first feared.

“Insigne spoke to the doctor, we’ll evaluate it over the next 48 hours when we have the test results. Hopefully, it’s not as serious as we first thought.”

The Napoli captain has 12 goals and seven assists for the club this season in all competitions and was on target in Saturday’s win over Lazio.

Napoli Unbeaten Away From Home in UCL

Napoli will head to Camp Nou on Saturday yet to taste defeat on their travels in the Champions League this season. Gattuso’s side drew at Liverpool and Genk in the group stages and won at Red Bull Salzburg.

The Serie A side can draw comfort from their record as they take on a Barcelona side who have not lost at the Camp Nou in European competition since 2013. The Catalans have gone 35 matches without defeat on their own turf since going down to Bayern Munich.

While Barcelona will be keen to win on Saturday they will also know that a goalless draw will be enough to progress.  Antoine Griezmann’s crucial away goal in the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Italy means the Catalans have the slight edge in the tie.

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