PSG’s Moura labels Messi ‘genius’
Paris Saint-Germain forward Lucas Moura has described Lionel Messi as a "genius" but knows he is not the only Barcelona player his side need to be concerned about ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final.
Messi earned himself another place in the record books on Saturday after scoring for the 19th successive Primera Division game during Barca’s 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.
In doing so he became the first player to net against every other side in the Spanish top flight in consecutive matches, while taking his season tally in La Liga to 42.
Brazil international Lucas admits he is a big admirer of his fellow South American but is keen to point out Barca are no one-man team.
"Messi is a genius, that says it all. I’m a big fan of Messi. He’s the best player in the world right now and one of the best that I’ve seen play," he told El Mundo Deportivo.
"It’s also true that to get to the level that he’s got to, he’s had high-quality team-mates by his side.
"They have a very solid defense and players who can make things tough for you in the middle of the pitch like Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta and the indefatigable Dani Alves. They are all great players, Barcelona have a team full of great players."
Having overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out AC Milan in the previous round, Barca will go into their last-eight showdown with PSG in confident mood.
However Lucas, who moved to France from Sao Paulo in January, is optimistic his side can cause an upset, especially as they have star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic available.
Ibrahimovic had looked set to miss tomorrow’s encounter against his former club after being handed a two-match ban for his sending off during the last-16 first leg against Valencia, but UEFA halved his suspension on appeal.
"He’s a player who makes the difference and is our leading scorer and star of our team. He’s well respected and with his ability and experience he will help us a lot," said Lucas.
Regarding his side’s chances of reaching the last four, the 20-year-old said: "It will be a very difficult fight, but not impossible. We have a strong squad, players with experience, a great coach and we are very united and focused for this game.
"It’s difficult to predict a result, but I believe a lot in my team and I think we can get through."