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City boss prays Messi is quiet

Manuel Pellegrini is hoping his Manchester City side get to face "the worst (Lionel) Messi" when they tackle Barcelona in the Champions League.

Last Updated: 18/02/14 at 10:30 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Barcelona danger man

Lionel Messi: Barcelona danger man

The Argentina star bagged a brace in Saturday's 6-0 Primera Division home win over Rayo Vallecano to take him to 228 La Liga goals in just 263 games.

Messi is also just six behind Raul's 71 in the all-time Champions League goalscorers list and heads into the first leg of their last-16 tie in superb form with five goals in his last three matches.

And although Pellegrini admits he has never seen the 26-year-old have a bad game, he hopes he underperforms at the Etihad.

"I have never seen Messi play badly. He's either excellent or great. We hope to face the worst Messi - not the great one," admitted the City boss.

"It is difficult to stop him, it is. Without doubt, it's very difficult because he's the top player of the world and he has a lot of different qualities.

"He has speed, good balance and a good finish. He's very important, but I don't think Barcelona is Messi.

"You can have a lot of other players who will also decide the game as well, so it's important to play as a team, defending and attacking."

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Readers' Comments

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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