Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is wary of a potential Club World Cup final clash against Argentine outfit River Plate.
Speaking to TyCSports, Messi picked out River Plate as a threat to Barcelona’s Club World Cup chances.
Should Barca make the final as expected, Messi said he would look forward to playing against River and their manager, Marcelo Gallardo.
“Gallardo is very intelligent,” Messi said.
“Surely, he must know how to play and should have something prepared in his head.
“I think River has very good players who like to go out and play and go for the win. I do not know if they will do so or not, but I think they play very well.”
Messi said River Plate’s strength came in their overall enthusiasm on the pitch.
“The main thing is their intensity,” Messi said.
“That is everything. You have to push to stay on top.”
Messi goes into the tournament under an injury cloud, but Barca coach Luis Enrique has brushed off any concerns, saying the superstar is “in perfect condition”.
As European and South American champions respectively, Barcelona and River Plate enter the Club World Cup at the semi-final stage and could potentially face each other in Sunday’s final.
The Spanish and European champions take on Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in Thursday’s semi-final while River Plate must overcome Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima.