Lionel Messi will hit another landmark on Wednesday against Borussia Dortmund. The Barcelona captain is set to make his 700th appearance for the club in their Champions League tie. He will become only the second player to reach that figure after Xavi Hernandez.
Ousmane Dembele has been talking about the prospect of facing former club Borussia Dortmund. The French star admits it will be a special match for him and that it will be a “bit difficult” emotionally. He also talked about how he has improved since joining Barcelona, particularly in how he prepares for games.
Gerard Pique has once again been asked about if he fancies becoming Barcelona president in the future. The defender, who was in Madrid for the Davis Cup Finals, replied: “At the moment I am really entertained with this and the truth is that I’m really enjoying it. Right now I want to compete as a footballer and try to keep going for as long as possible.”
Jurgen Klopp reckons Virgil van Dijk should win the Ballon d’Or over Lionel Messi. He said: “If you give the Ballon d’Or to the best player of his generation, you give it always to Lionel Messi, that’s how it is. If you give it to the best player of last season then it was Virgil van Dijk.”
Leganes boss Javier Aguirre was surprised by Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI on Saturday at Butarque. He said. “Ernesto surprised me with the four attackers. It’s scary on paper. I wasn’t expecting it. My concern was where Messi was going to play. With the four upfront and (full-backs Moussa) Wague and (Junior) Firpo, they were attacking with six players.”
Barcelona were 1-0 down at Leganes at half-time on Saturday which prompted plenty of “negativity and frustration” in the dressing room at the break. Some players were angry, some quiet, while Griezmann, Umtiti and Dembélé “got caught up in a heated discussion.” Eventually Pique and Messi took charge and rallied the team for the second half.
Eric Abidal has hinted that Barcelona could splash the cash in the summer transfer window. According to Mundo Deportivo, the club are looking to bring in a replacement for Luis Suarez and also want to strengthen defensively.