Di Stefano record on Messi radar

A look ahead to the midweek action in the Copa del Rey, including Wednesday's clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 29/01/13 at 14:28 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: New record in his sights

Lionel Messi: New record in his sights

Lionel Messi will have the record of a Real Madrid legend - and fellow Argentinian - in his sights in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Barcelona and Real at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The Argentinian has shattered records all over the place in the last 12 months, surpassing Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year with 91 in 2012, and at the weekend he became the youngest player to reach 200 goals in La Liga.

Next on Messi's hitlist is the chance to equal - or overtake - Alfredo di Stefano's record of 18 goals in Clasico fixtures, as Barcelona seek to retain the trophy.

Assistant boss Jordi Roura, who is looking after first-team affairs while manager Tito Vilanova continues his recovery from cancer treatment, said at a press conference on Tuesday: "Clasicos are very close matches that can be decided by small details. We must be prepared."

Asked how he was treating his first Clasico as the main man in the dugout, Roura added: "I am in a pretty quiet mood - it's one more game. I don't play, and these players are so extraordinary and that's what makes me calm, naturally.

"I'm here because my boss and my friend (Vilanova) is in a difficult situation and we will all try to pull this off.

"We're going to Madrid to play a good game. If we win great, if not we have another game on Sunday."

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets expects there will still be all to play for in the tie for the second leg at the Nou Camp on February 26.

"A good result would be a win, not a draw," he told fcbarcelona.com.

"It'll be a close game and I don't think a bad result would sink either team, because there's a way to go before the second leg."

Barcelona have defender Gerard Pique available again after he served a one-match ban against Osasuna at the weekend, while Eric Abidal, Marc Muniesa and Jonathan dos Santos are on the injured list.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is in no doubt as to the stature of this game.

"I think that it's the best match in the world," he told realmadrid.com.

"Barcelona and Real Madrid are two great squads. It's a difficult match and the atmosphere will be really charged. It's a good match. We're playing at home and we know that it's a two-game round, the best thing for us would be to win tomorrow and score goals."

Real Madrid's new goalkeeper Diego Lopez trained with Real for the first time on Monday since joining from Sevilla, who are involved in the second semi-final against Atletico Madrid. The first leg of that tie will be played in the Spanish capital on Thursday night.

New Sevilla coach Unai Emery, who led his side to a 3-0 victory over Granada in league action on Monday night, believes his side must "recover quickly" to stand any chance of a positive result against high-flying Atletico.

Emery will monitor the fitness of goalkeeper Andres Palop, who missed the Granada game, with Julian primed to feature if he does not recover. Alberto Moreno and Juan Cala (both calf) could return to the squad for the match at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico striker Radamel Falcao did not train with the main group on Tuesday as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, while defender Domingo Cisma was not involved due to a right ankle problem.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Dani Osvaldo leaves Southampton two years early

Southampton have terminated the contract of record signing Dani Osvaldo.

Slaven Bilic missing from West Ham bench for Europa League opener

Academy manager Terry Westley will be in charge when West Ham make their Europa League debut against Andorran side FC Lusitans.

Matej Vydra joins Watford on five-year deal after two loan spells

Striker Matej Vydra is back with Watford, this time on a permanent basis after signing a five-year deal to join the club from Udinese.

Mail Box

Are United Aiming Too High On Transfers?

One mailer wonders whether United are aiming a little high on their transfer ambitions. Plus, BAHs, West Ham in Europe, petty annoyances and Michu to United...

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

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