Lionel Messi is extra motivated for Barcelona’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich on Friday because the Catalan giants are underdogs, reports say. The Argentina international is primed to start when the two teams meet in the last eight of the competition. Barcelona go into the game on the back of a turbulent campaign, having already missed out on La Liga, Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup titles this season.
Barcelona have had to go five years without winning the Champions League.
Their last triumph came back in 2015, when Luis Enrique ruled the Nou Camp roost, with the Catalan giants struggling in the time since.
Barcelona will face Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the competition as they look to conquer Europe – and the Bundesliga titans are currently the favourites.
Bayern have been sensational since the departure of Niko Kovac earlier in the season and, in Robert Lewandowski, possess the most in-form forward on the planet.
And Sport say Messi is feeling extra motivated ahead of the showdown.
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The Argentina international was on the receiving end of a strong challenge from Kalidou Koulibaly during their 3-1 win over Napoli in the last round.
But he’s expected to be fit for the match against Bayern and is said to be hungry to win due to the fact Barcelona are considered underdogs.
It’s been a turbulent season for the Catalan side, who will end the campaign without any silverware should they fell to defeat on Friday night.
And Messi is determined to propel Barcelona through, with the forward expected to get the nod alongside Luis Suarez up top.
Meanwhile, former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus has expressed a belief that Bayern will cruise past Barcelona and into the Champions League semi-finals.
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“Of course Barcelona have the quality to be at their best in a game,” he said.
“In a one-off game, things can happen.
“You do something bad and you’re out. You can correct these things in two-legged ties.”
Setien admitted after Barcelona’s victory over Napoli that the match against Bayern would be ‘complicated’.
But he insisted his side had what it takes to beat the Bundesliga giants, who they thumped en route to winning the trophy five years ago.
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“The game against Bayern will be complicated, but we are also a great team,” he said.
“The team has been good and we deserved the victory.
“We have overcome the opening minutes and in the second half Napoli didn’t create much danger.
“The truth is that Napoli are one of the best Italian teams. We knew how to react to their start and then we had a good first half.
“They have had more prominence during the second half.”
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