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Lionel Messi is "happy and excited" at Barcelona, says Ronald Koeman 

Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a comprehensive victory over Alaves
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a comprehensive victory over Alaves
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 14 Feb 2021
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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has come out and praised Lionel Messi, after the Argentinian superstar played a starring role in the 5-1 victory over Alaves.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Koeman said:

"Well, we know that Leo is a decisive player, he has been for many years, he is very concentrated. He's excited, he's happy and he's been very effective in front of goal.
"He's someone that when we make passes between the lines to find him it gives a load of depth for the rest of the players and makes them even easier for him," Koeman continued.
"He has a great vision of play, so of course if we want to try and go through or aspire to win trophies having Messi at his best is vital, but we need also everyone else at the best. That's very important," he finished.

Lionel Messi scored a brace and had a hand in two other goals as Barcelona defeated Alaves 5-1 to go second in the La Liga table.

The game saw him equal Xavi Hernandez for the club's highest appearances in La Liga and he celebrated the milestone with his 15th league goal of the season.

Barcelona's attention will now turn to Tuesday's showdown with PSG in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Barcelona banking on Lionel Messi to make the difference in Europe

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Barcelona will square off with PSG in the UEFA Champions League
Barcelona will square off with PSG in the UEFA Champions League

Barcelona's chances of achieving success on the domestic scene hang in the balance. The UEFA Champions League represents Blaugrana's best opportunity to end the season with a trophy.

The Catalans have been paired with Paris Saint-Germain in the UCL Round of 16, with the first leg due to take place at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Barcelona's chances have been buoyed by the absence of former player Neymar, as the Brazilian has been ruled out with injury.

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Despite their talisman's absence, PSG still have enough high-quality players to get the win and Barcelona will be banking on their skipper to lead from the front

The Camp Nou outfit have not lifted the UEFA Champions League since 2015 and are desperate to get their hands on the 'Big Ears' once more.

The quality of both clubs means the tie appears evenly matched. But if Lionel Messi can perform at his usual elite level, Barcelona will fancy their chances of progressing to the quarterfinals.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 18:28 IST
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