Found April 24, 2013 on
Lionel Messi has insisted he was fit to face Bayern Munich and has vowed to help Barcelona respond to their heavy defeat in Germany.
The Spanish giants suffered a surprise 4-0 loss in their first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final and are now facing a huge uphill challenge to qualify.
Messi was a peripheral figure at the Allianz Arena and did not look as if he had recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered a just few weeks ago.
But the Argentine said: "I felt good. I was well enough to play. We have to lift ourselves for the second leg and La Liga. We will bounce back.
"They were a lot stronger than us, physically superior. It is a pity what happened but we have to move on."
Midfielder Xavi also remains adamant Barcelona have not given up hope of reaching the Champions League final at Wembley despite the odds being stacked against them.
"We are Barca and we have got to try to get to the final," said the Spaniard. "We need to play a great game but we know at the same time that it is practically impossible."
Xavi paid tribute to a Bayern side who outplayed and out-muscled the 2009 and 2011 Champions League winners like very few have achieved over the past six seasons.
"They were quicker than us and it was like a siege," he said. "We expected it to be like this. They are very strong physically and they were better than us.
"When you make mistakes in the Champions League, you pay the price. They were stronger than us. I do not know why we did not attack well.
"They have extraordinary players like (Arjen) Robben and they just found it too easy to get past us."
BEST OF MAXIM
Today’s game sees Bayern Munich host Barcelona in what should be an entertaining match. This is an encounter worthy of final that footy fans are fortunate to see played over two games. Each is team is no stranger to this competition, both Bayern and Barcelona have lifted the trophy four times, with Barcelona having done so twice in the last four years. And to little surprise...
Lionel Messi says Barcelona must not give up hope in the Champions League semifinals after being overwhelmed 4-0 at Bayern Munich in the first leg.
Messi says the return leg at the Camp Nou next week will be ''a very tough match'' given the seemingly insurmountable four-goal difference, but ''you have to go for it and try to achieve it. They are very good...
Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez has said he expects Lionel Messi will be fit for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich, despite the Argentinian maestro's hamstring woes.
Messi missed Saturday's laboured 1-0 win against Levante and two games before that for the Spanish league champions-elect since coming on to help inspire his side in their quarter...
At a time when Bayern Munich should be thinking about whether Lionel Messi is healthy enough to play in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday night, the German champion faces questions about a government investigation of club president Uli Hoeness for suspected tax evasion.
The newsmagazine Focus - whose publisher is a member of Bayern's board - reported...
Players who have scored four or more goals in a Champions League match (1993-present):
Five Lionel Messi, Barcelona vs. Bayer Leverkusen, second round, 2011-12
Four Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid, semifinals, 2012-13
Bafetimbi Gomis, Lyon vs. Dinamo Zagreb, group stage, 2011-12
Lionel Messi, Barcelona vs. Arsenal, quarterfinal, 2009-10
The expectation of seeing Lionel Messi line up against Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final, of watching Barcelona and Real Madrid fight for supremacy in the ultimate ''Clasico,'' has been all but washed away.
Instead of seeing Spain's two biggest teams play for the biggest trophy in club football, it's much more likely that German clubs Bayern...
The Bundesliga Champions put one foot into the CL Final with a 4-0 mauling of Lionel Messi and Co. at the Allianz Arena on TuesdayThe post Knockout Blow? Bayern Munich Dismantle Barcelona In 1st Leg appeared first on The Soccer Daily.
(Eds: Edits 5th paragraph. With AP Photos.) By NESHA STARCEVIC AP Sports Writer The expectation of seeing Lionel Messi line up against Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final, of watching Barcelona and Real Madrid fight for supremacy, is all but washed away.
Instead of seeing Spain's two mightiest teams play for the premier trophy in club soccer, it's much more likely...
Story lines aplenty
What does one expect when you have two sets of the games biggest rivals in the semi-finals of club football’s biggest competition? There has been no shortage of questions, story lines, and drama leading up to this weeks first leg fixtures.
Perhaps the biggest news came today, with Mario Götze reportedly agreeing to terms to play for Bayern Munich next year...
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JIM LITKE AP Sports Columnist Every team loses, but no team loses quite like Barcelona.
They get ''hammered,'' ''knocked out,'' or rendered ''unrecognizable.''
And that's just the good news.
This is what happens when a team sets the bar as high as Barcelona has: Every loss in a big game is immediately...