BARCELONA – Barcelona striker Lionel Messi does not believe the several injuries within Bayern Munich’s ranks in the lead up to the first leg of the Champions League semifinals can be used as an excuse if they end up losing.
“Both Barcelona and Bayern are two big teams, with major history. Even with injured players, that cannot be an excuse,” he opined at a press conference.
Two seasons ago, Messi himself missed the second leg of the Champions League semifinals against Bayern due to an injury, when Barça was eliminated 0-7.
“It was not an excuse for us at that time, and I think it cannot be an excuse for Bayern now,” he argued in regards to Wednesday’s tie at Camp Nou.
Messi has recognized that his absence in 2013 was particularly painful for the team, but on Wednesday there will be no spirit of revenge: “It’s been a while since that game now and we are coming into it in a different situation – this will be a different tie.”
“We are feeling good about things, but we’re taking things one game at a time, there’s not long to go till the end of the season and we have some massive games coming up, but we are relaxed about it, we’re playing well and at a good level physically,” he added.
Regarding the forward trio that Messi forms along with Neymar and Luis Suarez, which was a combined total of 108 goals this season, he said that “world class players, make things so much easier. We have a good relationship on and off the pitch and everything is going really well.”
When asked about facing Bayern’s squad led by Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach, Messi said, “I had a very good relationship with him. He was with us for a long time and he knows us all – he’s studied everything about us.”