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UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Luis Enrique warns Manchester City that Lionel Messi is as good as new

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Lionel Messi is back, fit and ready to take on Manchester City in the Champions League.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 15:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the  La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou stadium on October 15, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Leo Messi is back after a 3-week layoff

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has warned Manchester City that star striker Lionel Messi is back to full form and fitness after a period on the sidelines.

The Barcelona coach spoke about his star player and said, "Messi is back and in top form. I look at City and they have many options. But the rival coach also knows he has a difficult job to stop us with so many variants and tactical possibilities.”

The Argentine celebrated the 12th anniversary of his Barcelona debut in excellent fashion by coming off the bench and scoring within 180 seconds of his arrival on the pitch. 

Also Read: UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City are not scared of Barcelona

Enrique was speaking ahead of his side’s encounter with Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday and gave insight on his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola, "I’ve not spoken to Pep. This was the perfect way to prepare for the City match. They will be a very attractive opponent."

“They’re progressing continuously and even more so thanks to their coach.

The Barcelona coach used a 3-4-3 formation against Deportivo on the weekend, and he felt that the system suited the team well, but refused to give to disclose how his side will line up on Thursday, saying, “But I won’t tell you what system I will play.”

Playing against Messi special, says Sergio Aguero

Ahead of the game between the two teams, Manchester City sharpshooter Sergio Aguero also spoke about Leo Messi. 

“Playing against Messi will be something special. We are the same nationality and we are friends too. For that reason, I didn’t want to to get Barcelona in the draw but sometimes fate plays a part and there’s nothing you can do," said Aguero prior to the game.  

Aguero also believes that there is only so much one can do to stop the Barcelona talisman and his team-mates, “I know all about him and of course so does Guardiola – but then when it comes to Barcelona everybody in the world knows about all their players, so it doesn’t mean so much.”

Also Read: Guardiola's biggest City test on emotional return to Barca

On another note, Messi and Guardiola have faced off against each other in only one fixture after the Catalan left Barcelona in 2012, when Barcelona played against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Messi came out on top then.

Whatever happens, this match promises to be special.

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