Lionel Messi status uncertain
"Messi-dependence" was the buzzword at Barcelona's media conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash vs. Paris Saint-Germain yet neither Barca assistant coach Jourdi Roura nor Andres Iniesta could say for sure whether the Argentina striker would be in the lineup.
"If we don't have the world's best player, that is evidently a handicap, but the team is extensive and of great quality," Roura said about Lionel Messi. "We have two training sessions left, we have good feelings but we will have to wait to see the results of the latest medical tests to make a decision. It is premature to speak now."
Iniesta, meanwhile, acknowledged that Barca has "Messi-dependence" and said that whether Messi played would be up to Messi himself.
"There is no doubt that in this team there is Messi-dependence in a sense that is fundamental for us but there isn't in a sense that we are team and we all count," Iniesta said. "The only thing that interests us is that we make it to June and that Barca can lift up the biggest of all trophies, not who scores the goals. But it's evident that Messi is very important for us because he is No. 1."
Roura said he feels Barcelona's victory over Mallorca in weekend La Liga play will help spark the team on Wednesday.
"I think the best way to face a Champions League match is to have a good match just prior to it," he said. "Each match is different. It leaves a bad taste not winning in Paris, we have to face the match as though it were a final and the objective is to win. We won't speculate at all, we will go in with the aim of winning."
Roura said he doubted PSG would vary its lineup.
For his part, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said he would be sticking to his game plan.
"I don't know if he (Messi) will play but that is not our problem," Ancelotti said. "Our strategy continues to be the same with Messi or without him. We have an opportunity and we will try to do everything possible."