Lionel Messi has named four teams which he does not want to face in the Champions League Quarterfinals.
Barcelona, who were held for a stalemate at Groupama Stadium last month have bounced back in style with a 5-1 victory over Olympique Lyon. Lionel Messi scored twice against the French outfit to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.
With those two goals, the Argentine International has taken his total tally to eight goals this campaign which is the joint highest with Robert Lewandowski. The Polish International’s Bayern Munich faced elimination in the hands of Liverpool which increases the chances for Lionel Messi to top score in this competition.
The Blaugrana are looking to take full control of the situation without Real Madrid in the competition to go all the way for glory. Barcelona will join Liverpool, Juventus, Manchester United, Manchester City, Porto, Ajax, and Tottenham Hotspur for the next round as the draw is set to take place on Friday.
Barcelona’s captain Lionel Messi was asked about Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance against Atletico Madrid and asked the teams which he would like to avoid in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Andy Mitten, the journalist of BBC had tweeted that Lionel Messi has praised Ronaldo for that ‘Magical’ performance and added on that he would like to avoid Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Ajax.
Did Messi miss someone? Yes, he did not include Manchester United in the list.
Lionel Messi just asked about the teams he feared in the quarters on Catalan Radio. Mentioned Juventus and complimented Ronaldo’s ‘magical night’ v Atleti, MCFC, Liverpool and the fearless youth of Ajax.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) March 13, 2019
The stat leaders from the final four last-16 Champions League matches — Cristiano Ronaldo completed the most dribbles in his man of the match performance against Atletico Madridhttps://t.co/z2YUS3HeAk pic.twitter.com/lpguzIVU0t
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 14, 2019
In the post-match interview, Lionel Messi said that he was surprised to see Juventus comeback from a 2-0 deficit down to beat Atletico Madrid. He did not forget to credit Cristiano Ronaldo for his tremendous hat-trick which was the line of margin in the tie.
“What Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus did was impressive. I thought Atletico Madrid would be tougher. Ronaldo had a magical night with three goals.”
Despite picking these teams, Lionel Messi has said that any side in the last eight will be a tough nut to crack.
“All of the opponents are complicated. Ajax (who beat Real Madrid in the last 16), for example, showed that they’re an amazing team of youngsters and they don’t fear anyone.
“It’ll be difficult no matter who we face. We have to prepare ourselves for a tough challenge.”
Messi: 🆚 Arsenal, April 2010
Ronaldo: 🆚 Ajax, October 2012
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 14, 2019
Ronaldo on Tuesday: 3 goals
Messi on Wednesday: 2 goals, 2 assists
They took over when it mattered most. pic.twitter.com/6TDNnmCSJ5
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 13, 2019
Liverpool made a statement to the rest of Europe by beating Bayern Munich 3-1 at Allianz Arena in the second leg after finding a way to shut down the Bavarians at Anfield without their key defender Virgil Van Dijk.
Juventus is another side, who made a comprehensive comeback to beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 and won the tie with an aggregate 3-2. Cristiano Ronaldo came back to haunt Diego Simeone’s men by netting a hat-trick to qualify for the last eight.
Manchester City have been under the radar this campaign because of the teams they have faced this campaign. The Blues blew Schalke away with an aggregate of 10-1 and scored seven in the second leg at Manchester. They are a serious threat to other sides in this competition.
Ajax made a popular comeback by scoring four past Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu after losing the first leg at Amsterdam. The likes of Frenkie De Jong, Matthijs De Ligt, Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic, and David Neres are fearless in their approach and the whole squad has done enough to warrant a place in the last eight.
— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) March 5, 2019
There are no doubt that those four are one among the favourites. Manchester United are the other side who are currently in a resurgence mood under their new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have won 14 games out of the last 18 games under the Norwegian.
With some of the big guns including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid out, the rest will be hoping to take full ascendancy to stamp their authority in Europe’s competition.