Soccer

Barcelona are not a lot worse off without Messi, says Bayern Munich boss Nagelsmann



The Bavarian giants and the Catalan heavyweights will kick off their Champions League campaigns in a Group E encounter this week

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann has warned that Barcelona still pose a major threat to his side’s Champions League prospects, even without the departed Lionel Messi, ahead of the pair’s clash on Tuesday.

This week’s first round of fixtures will see the European campaigns of the Bavarian giants as well as the Catalan heavyweights kick off at Camp Nou in a mouthwatering Group E match.

Ronald Koeman’s side are entering continental competition for the first time without former captain Messi in over a decade-and-a-half – but regardless of the Argentine’s absence, Nagelsmann feels they remain stern opposition.

What has been said?

The 39-year old said that although they don’t have Messi as extravagant as he used to be, they do have other players who can make an impact at the pre-match press conference. “We are ready for anything.

“I don’t believe they are worse off than they are now. [Whether we are] The media is more interested in the topic of favourites than not favourites. Two world clubs meet.

“On the one hand, the form on the day will decide, but on the other hand, [there is] motivation – and that one will be extremely high with us.”

Bayern out to regain European favour

Having defeated Paris Saint-Germain just over a year ago in a Champions League final postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bundesliga champions were unable to hold onto their crown last term, eliminated in the quarter-finals by the Ligue 1 outfit.

They will try to regain their place at the top of the continental pyramid and defeat current holders Chelsea to bring the trophy home to Germany.

Even without Messi – now at PSG himself and preparing to spearhead their latest bid for the crown – Barcelona likely represent their toughest test early on, with Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv making up the rest of Group E.

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