Champions League Football

Messi: Barcelona star makes Chelsea admission in private talks with Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona will host Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League clash on March 10, with Messi’s goal leaving the tie evenly poised.

The Argentina international finally got off the mark against the west London side last week, scoring after Willian had found the net for the Blues.

Coutinho, though, is ineligible to play after previously turning out in the competition for Liverpool.

And Spanish outlet Don Balon claim Lionel Messi has told Coutinho he wishes he could face Chelsea.

The Brazil international appears to have finally found his feet at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi

The 25-year-old initially struggled following his Liverpool move.

But he is back to his brilliant best and blossomed alongside Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele in attack for Barcelona’s 6-1 win over Girona at the weekend.

Don Balon say Messi feels Barcelona would have a better chance of beating Chelsea if Coutinho could play.

The Argentina star supposedly thinks Paulinho may represent a liability.

The Brazilian has impressed his debut season but his form has tailed off in recent weeks.

Lionel Messi Barcelona Philippe Coutinho news

Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde praised Coutinho, and Ousmane Dembele, after the Girona drubbing.

“When a player scores as Coutinho did he gains more and more confidence, which is what a player is always looking for,” he said.

“They are players who have to help us and who are already doing it, each with their own characteristics.

“Dembele has a more extreme profile, he brings more depth [to Barcelona’s play] but he has had problems with injuries and skipped that period of adaptation. That’s why he’s still getting used to the team.

“Coutinho plays very well in the inside game. I think both have taken a step forward today.”


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