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Zubi: Barca fine without Messi

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta concedes losing Lionel Messi for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Celtic is a blow but has pointed out the Catalan giants are no one-man team.

Last Updated: 30/09/13 at 10:33 Post Comment

Andoni Zubizarreta: Trusts the depth of Barcelona's squad

Andoni Zubizarreta: Trusts the depth of Barcelona's squad

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Messi has been ruled out for up to three weeks after suffering a thigh injury during Saturday's 2-0 Primera Division victory at Almeria, a result that saw Barca set a club record of seven successive league wins to start a season.

Four-time world player of the year Messi has, unsurprisingly, been instrumental in that success with eight goals in La Liga already this term and his loss is a major setback for Gerardo Martino's side, but Zubizarreta does not want to use the Argentinian's absence as an excuse.

"He's a very difficult player to replace," Zubizarreta told reporters as Barca prepared to fly to Scotland.

"We must do without the best player in the world, but we have a squad with extraordinary players.

"The players who are here are very good and we have to play with what we have."

Even with Messi in their side, Barcelona were still beaten by Celtic when the clubs met in last season's Champions League at Celtic Park.

Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt put the home side 2-0 up and although Messi pulled a goal back in stoppage time, it was not enough to prevent the four-time European champions from slumping to defeat.

Zubizarreta is looking forward to returning to Glasgow but insists they are not being driven by thoughts of revenge.

"It's always a pleasure to play at Celtic Park," he said.

"We're expecting a great atmosphere against an opponent who made things very difficult for us last year.

"They showed they knew how to play and knew how to beat us.

"They are very strong on their ground and they look to play with a lot of pressure.

"We know how we must play. Revenge? No. We're going there to enjoy this game, this atmosphere. We'll see what happens."

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I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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