The SPL outfit and Benfica are both on seven points in Group G, with the Portuguese side needing to match Celtic’s result against Spartak Moscow to progress to the last 16.
“The Celtic fans deserve to be in Europe,” said three-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi. “They have been amazing in both games we have played against them.
“We knew what they were going to be like in Glasgow. But the way they were in Barcelona after they had just lost in the way they did was amazing.
“I have never seen anything like that before. We have not always been supportive of the way that Celtic play football.
“However, their fans deserve the knockout stages. I think the competition would be a quieter place without them.”
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