Roura: Messi irreplaceable

Jordi Roura revealed that Barcelona had only wanted to use Lionel Messi 'if things started to go wrong' after he came on and changed the game against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 11/04/13 at 08:55 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Helped inspire Barcelona past Paris Saint-Germain after coming on

Lionel Messi: Helped inspire Barcelona past Paris Saint-Germain after coming on

Messi was not deemed fit enough to start at Camp Nou after suffering a hamstring injury in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final last week.

But he was brought on in the 62nd minute after Javier Pastore had given PSG the lead, and added an attacking spark as Pedro's strike sealed a 3-3 aggregate draw and took Barca through on away goals.

Roura said: "We had agreed that he would play from the moment things started to go wrong for us, and that moment arrived. He came onto the pitch and once again participated in a goal.

"He proved his competitive edge, he's an irreplaceable player."

The assistant coach also celebrated the club reaching the semi-finals of the competition for the sixth consecutive season.

"It's a huge milestone, it's extraordinary," he said. "The fans should be very proud.

"The game was very difficult but these players are very special. They are made of special stuff, and you have to congratulate them."

Commitment

David Villa agreed that Messi's introduction had been the decisive moment of the match, telling Canal Plus: "Messi is the best player in the world and he changed the game just by being on the pitch.

"We have to congratulate him for his show of commitment to the team and to football. It is thanks to him, and everyone else, that we have qualified."

Villa said that PSG had made his side work for the draw, and admitted Barca had been far from their best.

"We are delighted to qualify after suffering so much. They caused us a lot of problems, and they did a lot of damage with their counter-attacks," he said.

"We gave the ball away a lot, which we don't normally do, we didn't play well. We knew that they [PSG] were strong on the counter-attack but they still made it difficult for us.

"However, we have qualified, and that's what's important."

Dani Alves added on Messi: "His presence changed the mood of everyone at the stadium and on the pitch. We became stronger with him. We have to ensure he recovers well because we know we are superior with him.

"We didn't feel comfortable against an opponent that had little to lose. We suffered as much or more than the fans. We knew it would be hard and their goal complicated things."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

Footer 365

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Angel Di Maria poised for medical ahead of move to PSG

Angel Di Maria is set to undergo a medical with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a proposed £44m move from Manchester United.

Mourinho plans to manage into his 70s

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes he is a better manager than he was 10 years ago - and he wants to continue until he's in his 70s.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company