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19.12.06

Messi aims for Liverpool

maltasport.com 19 December 2006

Barcelona starlet Lionel Messi is targeting the UEFA Champions League ties with Liverpool as he bids to recover full fitness.

This was revealed by the Argentina prodigy in an interview with eurosport.com.

Messi, who was named World Soccer's Young Player of the Year this week, has been out since November after undergoing an operation to repair a broken metatarsal.

After seeing Barca slump to a surprise FIFA Club World Cup defeat to Internacional at the weekend, the 19-year-old is itching to get back in action in time to meet Rafa Benitez's Merseysiders in February.

"My objective is to be physically recuperated in order to play against Liverpool in the Champions League and I believe that this will be possible," he told eurosport.com.

"I am not nervous now about the injury. I am very mature and know I need to spend the most time for a perfect recovery.

"I missed the match against Chelsea but now I want to play Liverpool because Barcelona need my help in a knockout game that is not easy.

"The Reds are a peculiar team," he explained. "They play in England but the style of the coach and many of the players is nearly Spanish.

"This will be an extra problem for Barcelona.

"Any rivals are dangerous in Europe at this time but Liverpool are a team that can be beaten by Barcelona. Lyon or Manchester United are most difficult today.

"I expect an open game because the English play without defensive caution and with a style similar to Barcelona.

"Sincerely, I believe Liverpool are worried about playing against us because we are the champions of Europe and that strikes fear in any rivals.

"I desire to travel to Liverpool with much work done and holding an advantage to qualify for the next round.

"A 2-0 or 3-0 score will be perfect for Barca.

"Always, we need to not concede a goal in Camp Nou to avoid problems at Anfield."




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