Barcelona v PSG: Lionel Messi still a doubt for Champions League clash
Barcelona v PSG: La Liga club will make a late decision about whether to risk Lionel Messi for the Champions League clash
Barcelona will make a decision on Wednesday about whether to risk Lionel Messi for the Champions League quarter-final decider against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentina international came through a training session on Monday unharmed but is still recovering from a hamstring strain picked up against the Ligue 1 side last week and missed the weekend’s 5-0 thrashing of Mallorca.
“We’ll see how he is today and tomorrow,” said midfielder Andres Iniesta on Tuesday.
“It’s all down to how Leo feels and how the injury has developed. The team will decide tomorrow if he can play or not.
“He’s been injured and it’s a situation the club need to consider carefully before deciding what to do. We’ll see what happens.”
Barcelona have an away-goals advantage after a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the last-eight clash in Paris last week.
Messi scored the opener that night, his 57th goal of the season for Barcelona, but Iniesta insists that the Catalan giants are not over-reliant on the four-times Ballon d’Or winner.
“Without a doubt, we depend on Messi in the sense that he is a fundamental player for us – when he plays, he’s our number one player,” said the midfielder.
“But we aren’t dependent on Messi – he benefits from the way in which the team and everyone else plays. Of course things change when he doesn’t play. We have a squad and everyone that is in that squad can play and perform to the highest level.”
Iniesta added: “Leo represents a lot to us and how we play, he’s unique, so if he doesn’t start we will all need to contribute more to our attacking play.
“If Leo plays, perfect, but I hope we can put in a good performance so we can get into the semi-finals, whether he plays or not.”
Barcelona v PSG: Pre-match facts
• Four-time winners Barcelona are targeting a sixth successive semi-final appearance and are undefeated in 20 Champions League home outings, winning 16, since a 2-1 reverse against Rubin Kazan on 20 October 2009.
• PSG have won four and lost three of eight previous away fixtures against Liga opposition. This term’s last-16 triumph over Valencia maintained their 100 per cent record in five two-legged encounters with teams from Spain.
• Maxwell joined Barcelona in 2009, leaving for PSG in January 2012. He made 57 Liga appearances and won two league titles but did not feature in Barcelona’s 2011 Champions League final victory.
• David Beckham featured seven times for Real Madrid against Barcelona, his record reading W3 D1 L3.