"That is what God wants!", Is heard in the different Barça forums in Barcelona. And God in Barça is Leo Messi. Attend the fans, the team and the club at the desire of 10. "It's going to be hard. Is not easy lift a 2-0 and less against Sevilla, which is a great team, with very good and fast players, willing to go well against, "said the Rosario in public at the gala Sports world after being awarded as the best player of LaLiga 2017-2018. "We are going to need the best of ourselves and the people to lift the tie," he added. "We want to go through and fight for the Cup too."
Messi played a resounding Monday night and on Tuesday morning the campaign began with a comeback in which few Barça players repaired since the failed first leg ended 2-0 against and a sentence of Piqué: "And if it can not be, it will be again", a statement that reflected the general feeling of the board and staff to not wear out in the Cup if the aspiration is to defend the leadership of the League and aspire to win the Champions League. Barça needs challenges, capitalized to be able to be -one like the European- and minors too, like the Cup.
The players have been annoyed that they are accused more or less of playing a la carte and showing a certain disdain for a competition that they dominate with 30 titles and 22 knockout wins since they fell in 2012-2013 with Madrid, as if the Cup I would have been guilty of his painful fall of Rome. Nobody knew very well how Barça was going to take the second leg at the Camp Nou (this Wednesday, 21.30, TVE1 and Gol). Until Messi and s appearedand put on the side of Ernesto Valverde, who insists on the need to win, to conquer titles, to fight for a Cup that has won his heart since his time at Athletic.
The declaration of 10 invites the coach to bet on a more competitive formation than in the first leg, especially in the lead, after the Pizjuán formed Malcom and the debutant Boateng. Valverde saved Messi from the Sevilla trip, just as he did in the previous round with Levante, and now it is supposed that, like then, he will recover the rosarino on Wednesday in the return in Barcelona. Now we must wait to know what will be the Messi version.
Sevilla is the team that Messi has scored the most goals in his career: 32. There are 25 in the League, four in the Spanish Super Cup, two in the European Super Cup and one in the Cup.
The last goal of Messi to Sevilla was on October 20 in the League (4-2 at Camp Nou), when the radius broke in a fall. That day, Barça stood alone leader of the tournament.
Atlético is next on the list of preferred victims of the striker, with 28 goals conceded. They are followed by Real Madrid (26), Valencia (25) and Athletic (24).
There are contradictory data in the actions of the Barça captain. Sometimes he is reminded that he participates little of the game –against Eibar he played 26 times the ball for 41 of Ter Stegen-, and sometimes the kilometers are counted to try to show that he runs less than the goalkeeper, especially when he loses Barça. It is already known that he rests in the field and is activated when he considers that it is his moment, as he spent Sunday in Girona with the 0-2.
He already has 19 goals in 19 league games, the top scorer and the Golden Boot, after having missed only two games because of the elbow injury suffered just against Sevilla in a fall against Mudo Vázquez in the league match October. At 31, Messi is on a roll – he has scored or assisted in the last 15 games – and his favorite target is Sevilla: 32 goals in 35 games, one in the Cup.
Although Sevilla are a particularly strong double-sided team, their confrontations with Barça are not exactly favorable: they have won four of the 12 crosses in the Cup and have lost the last five finals with Barcelona. "I'm not going to tell the players to leave or shit, or scared, or cowed," he replied his coach, Pablo Machín. "If we do not do more, it's because they do not leave us. We are going to give the face and we will try to mark ", added the technician, who will not be able to have several players by injury, especially Navas. In favor of Sevilla he plays the marker, his versatility and also his competitiveness, as well as the Sarabia factor, a player who has already scored three goals against Barça.
Denis Suárez will renew his contract with Barcelona until 2021 and will be on loan until the end of the season at Arsenal. The English club will pay two million for the pass and will have a purchase option on the Galician player, 25 years old. "We hope it goes well," responded Valverde before the transaction was formalized. "Whenever he has participated, he has done it with great dedication and we are very satisfied". The participation of Denis has been scarce (17 minutes in LaLiga). His last intervention was decisive to keep Barça in the Cup when he forced the penalty that was the 2-1 at Levante-Barça.
Machín is not scared while Valverde is encouraged with the complicity of Messi. "We know that when the match requires the team always takes a step forward," he said solemnly before calling the professional squad without any player from Barça B. "Football is made of great moments and great games," he said. "We will try to be protagonists of one of them against Sevilla."
The Barca coach is concerned that the team is disorderly and fall in the exchange of blows, land in which Sevilla marked differences in Nervión. "If we attack well, we will defend better", he stressed, a plan that Messi needs. The 10 prefer to play behind a center forward, none as complicit as Luis Suárez, or requires an end that pulls you unchecked, few as daring as Dembélé. It happens that the Frenchman is injured and there is doubt about the participation of Luis Suárez. The Uruguayan needs to dose his efforts to combat his pain in the knees and after being a starter in Montilivi there is doubt about his presence against Sevilla.
The League calendar is as demanding as the Cup quarter-finals. The Barça players receive Valencia on Saturday and the following Sunday they visit San Mamés. Valverde, therefore, must measure very well the lineup that has this Wednesday at the Camp Nou and which strikers accompany Messi. It is especially important to the dressing room to reanimate Coutinho, dull as soon as an occasion fails, less participatory and effective: his last goal in the league goes back to the classic and in the Cup he transformed the penalty caused by Denis Suárez on the court of Levante. "I like it because it always dares, faces the contrary", insists Valverde, after talking with Coutinho. The Brazilian mixed well with Messi at the start of the Girona match while the 0-2 was conceived in a combination of 10 with his partner Jordi Alba. The Rosario heard whistles after interceding with the referee to expel Bernardo.
A situation as new as the one before the Sevilla. Although it worked well when the Argentine fell injured, Barça has won 11 of the last 14 games, which played Messi in his absence tied with Tottenham (He participated a few minutes for Munir) and lost with Levante and Sevilla-. The alignment of the 10 is usually synonymous with victory; it is not known if also of comeback; for the moment he has announced that he also wants the Cup and has played a show for this Wednesday at the Camp Nou.