Champions League: It's a worry if Lionel Messi plays, says Inter Milan boss

Nov 06, 2018, 13:04 IST | AFP

Inter boss Spalletti insists Barca's Argentine star is too much of a danger and makes Spanish team more lethal

Champions League: It's a worry if Lionel Messi plays, says Inter Milan boss
Barcelona's Lionel Messi warms up ahead of their La Liga tie against Sevilla last month. Pic/Getty Images

Lionel Messi is the icing on Barcelona's cake, Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti said yesterday on the eve of the Champions League game between the two teams. Messi could make an earlier return than expected against Inter Milan in the San Siro today after breaking his arm on October 20, but the Catalans have shown some of their strongest form in his absence.

"Messi is the icing on the cake. His is the shirt that children who dream of being footballers ask for," said Spalletti. "But Barcelona have shown that even without him, they still have the mentality to develop their game, which is what makes the difference. "It's a worry for anyone if Messi plays, but the attitude doesn't change. We're facing one of the strongest clubs in the world in any case. We need to be better in our reading of the game, but we're going to mark space, not men."

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti
Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti

Barcelona are top of Group B with maximum points from three games ahead of Inter Milan who lost 2-0 in Spain. A draw against Inter would guarantee the Spaniards qualification to the Last 16 while victory would secure top spot, with two games still to spare. Inter need a win to book their passage to the Last 16 in a group which also includes Tottenham and PSV. "It's the right time to show what we're worth," said Spalletti, whose side are coming off a seven-match winning streak in Serie A in which they are in second place behind champions Juventus.

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