Roma coach Rudi Garcia has stressed the Serie A outfit will have to deal with Lionel Messi as a team in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Barcelona.
The Argentina international guided Barcelona to victory over Atletico Madrid at the weekend with a fine goal after coming off the bench, yet Garcia feels Roma cannot solely focus on the 28-year-old.
“There’s no anti-Messi plan, just as there isn’t one to stop [Luis] Suarez or [Andres] Iniesta,” Garcia said at a news conference.
“You deal with that threat as a team, both offensively and defensively. We don’t plan on defending all game. We know there will be times when we have to dig in but we also have to use the ball well to give the opposition a problem.
“We’re running out of superlatives to describe Messi. He’s one of – if not – the best in the world.”
Garcia then went on to concede that Barcelona one of the best teams in the world, but he was quick to stress Roma will give their all to get a good result.
“We know Barcelona are a top side and the reigning European champions. They’ve won their first three league matches and there’s no need to repeat all the praise they’ve been given,” he continued.
“We know all about them. If they’re not the best in the world, they’re certainly up there.
“We’ll play with humility tomorrow but also ambition. We want to qualify for the next round and to do so we’ll need to perform as well as we can in all six games in order to pick up points.”