Lionel Messi came 'very close' to joining Espanyol in 2005 - Mauricio Pochettino

03 October, 2018, 10:47 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Harry Kane scored twice as Spurs beat Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday

Spanish champions Barca opened with a 4-0 win over PSV, courtesy of a Lionel Messi hat-trick, and although they have failed to register a win in their last three games now sit joint top of La Liga with Real Madrid.

They are without five first-team regulars, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Serge Aurier, although Hugo Lloris will return, but Pochettino wants his team to relish facing Lionel Messi.

Spurs opened their Champions League campaign with a heart-breaking defeat away at Inter Milan.

Malcom has been left out of the Barcelona squad for their Champions League game against Tottenham.

Messi has already scored eight times this season, including a hat-trick in Barca's European demolition of PSV Eindhoven, taking his career tally for the club to well over 500 goals. "I think him and (Cristiano) Ronaldo have gone above the normal standard set by people in years gone past", Kane said.

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"The evolution of the team is there and everyone can appreciate that and see it", Pochettino said. "It's only about enjoying it, being close, helping the players that are going to face him to stay close and, when you have the ball, trying to have possession, to play in the opposite half, to try to push Leo to play far from your goal".

"Leo is fantastic and we want to prevent him from continuing to break records".

Messi has reportedly responded to Pique by criticizing Barcelona's defence, stating that the side has conceded way too many goals and that the defence needs to do more work.

Spurs go into the match after three successive wins in all competitions while Barca are without a victory in their last three games.

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