Lionel Messi will look at the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Juventus as a personal challenge, according to former Barcelona midfielder Edmilson.
The Argentina star was kept largely on the fringes of the action as Juve recorded a commanding 3-0 win in the first leg in Turin, in which compatriot Paulo Dybala scored twice before Giorgio Chiellini’s second-half header.
But Edmilson, who won the trophy with the Catalan giants back in 2006, believes Messi will be desperate to help Barca to another stirring comeback as he aims to win Europe’s top prize for the fifth time in his illustrious career.
“Messi is a player who has made the difference in the last 10 years in the world,” he told Radio Barcelona. “He’ll possibly score against Juve because it’s a personal challenge. He wants to win another Champions League with Barca.”
Edmilson admits it was a shock to see Barca produce such a tame performance for the second away match in a row in the competition, with Luis Enrique’s side having been beaten 4-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
However, the former Brazil international feels that a comeback similar to the stunning 6-1 triumph they recorded over PSG will not be out of the question.
“It’s natural not to be at a really high level and not play well in every game. It’s not normal to play two games in the Champions League as badly as Barca, either,” he said.
“I don’t know what the atmosphere is like but those who are on the inside are working to find solutions in order to finish the season well.
“It’s been a tough week. Everyone knew that the game in Turin was going to be pretty tough. The team could have scored one or two goals and it wouldn’t have been such a big disaster.
“Coming back from 3-0 down is pretty difficult but there’s a return leg, an atmosphere [at the stadium] and quality on the pitch. I’m sure Barca will try to change what is quite difficult.”
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