5.30 a.m., February 16, 2021
In the second Tuesday first leg alongside RB Leipzig against Liverpool FC in Budapest, the FC Barcelona im Camp Nou on Paris Saint Germain. Lionel Messi was made by his trainer Ronald Koeman “Fantastic shape” certified in advance. The French fall with the former Barca professional Neymar the star of the team, too Angel Di Maria is hurt. PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino stressed nonetheless: “We have to be ready on Tuesday. And we will be ready.”
Barcelona warmed up with one 5-1 against Alaves including a Messi double pack. Koeman spared left-backs Jordi Alba, his superstar never got a break. “We know how decisive he can be and he’s in the mood at the moment. Everything is easier with him in shape,” said the Barca coach about Messi’s current form. Of course, to beat PSG you would need a strong team performance, Koeman stated nonetheless. Defense chief Gerard Pique could make a comeback on Tuesday.
The duel is given an additional note by rumors that have been going on for months that PSG want to secure Messi’s services in the summer. The Argentine’s contract with his long-term club is known to expire. In France there is speculation that Paris would have to free up a lot of funds in order to be able to afford Messi. A transfer should only be possible if a young star Kylian Mbappe is delivered. The 22-year-old is said to be very popular at Real. Alba emphasized one thing in Barcelona: “Messi gives 100 percent for Barcelona. He will make his decision at the end of the season.”
Memories of the 2016/17 round of 16 duel are awakened. PSG won 4-0 at home, but went down spectacularly 6-1 in the second leg in Barcelona. Under Pochettino, the current second in Ligue 1 has at least caught on nationally. In addition to Mbappe, played last Moise kean into the spotlight. The Italian has ten goals this season in Ligue 1.