Lionel Messi will start Barcelona’s game against Inter Milan in the Champions League on the bench, according to reports in Spain. Ernesto Valverde is expected to name an unchanged team from the XI that beat Rayo Vallecano.
Philippe Coutinho is on a hot streak of form in the Champions League. The Brazilian has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last seven outings in Europe’s top competition, with six goals and four assists.
Luciano Spalletti spoke about Lionel Messi in his pre-match press conference. He said: “Messi’s shirt is the one wanted by every child who dreams of becoming a footballer. He plays the game at another speed. He is the best.”
Real Madrid are expected to clinch the signing of Exequiel Palacios from Real Madrid, a player Barcelona had also been keen on. The midfielder will sign for €20 million but won’t arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2019.
Gerard Pique was caught out when getting off Barcelona’s team bus in Milan. The defender, with his headphones on, wasn’t looking and walked straight into the wing mirror, much to the delight of onlookers.
Lille’s Nicolas Pepe has talked about speculation over his future with Barcelona just one of several clubs linked with a move He said: “A preference between Dortmund, Bayern or Arsenal, they’re all big clubs, I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice. Leave Lille at the end of the season, we do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.”