Ernesto Valverde: 'What I fear most is the spirit United have'
- Messi is clear to play United.
- Valverde gives his respect to United.
- He knows the Reds will counter attack.
- His task is not to allow it.
Lionel Messi will lead his team against Man United on Tuesday as he could meet Chris Smalling again. In the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal it was Smalling who hit the Argentinian like a train.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde recalled the episode: ''I don’t think he (Messi) is worried about the same thing happening again. He is fine, he is perfectly fine after the blow he suffered. He was okay a couple of days after it. But he was a little bit stunned at the time, although he’s okay now for this game and ready to go.''
Players to register double figures for goals and assists in Europe's top five leagues this season:— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 15, 2019
L. Messi -- 33 ⚽️, 12 🅰️
E. Hazard -- 16 ⚽️, 12 🅰️
J. Sancho -- 10 ⚽️, 13 🅰️
P. Sarabia -- 11 ⚽️, 11 🅰️
N. Pepe -- 19 ⚽️, 11 🅰️
D. Mertens -- 11 ⚽️, 10 🅰️https://t.co/BwvcOK7fm0 pic.twitter.com/FFRPBwgsht
He spoke of the clash: ''There is no fear, only tremendous excitement. We're ready to try to go through, knowing that we're facing a great team. We're both good sides, we have a lot of excitement to try to reach the semi-finals.''
''We know that our rival can go on the counter-attack, so we cannot allow that. What I fear most is the spirit that they have. We respect them as a team for what they are and the history they have. You can feel their spirit on the pitch and we expect to see that here. United have something special in the last few minutes. In fact, they won the European Cup here in the last two minutes.''