FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad  – La Liga

UEFA Champions League: Koeman Tips Messi To Shine Against Ferencvaros

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi has not been at his best since attempting to leave the club in the summer. Messi, 33, has scored just once — a penalty against Villarreal — in four games this season after agreeing to stay at Barca until at least the end of his current contract, which expires in June 2021.

He failed to score for the third consecutive game as Barca were beaten by Getafe on Saturday but Koeman has backed him to deliver this week in games against Ferencvaros and Real Madrid.

“Maybe, at the moment, Messi’s performances could be better,” the Dutchman said ahead of Barca’s return to European action against the Hungarian champions at Camp Nou today.

“But he is happy, he is working hard and he wants to be the captain. I don’t have a single complaint. He has also had some bad luck. He hit the post [in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Getafe] and on another day that goes in.

“I don’t have any doubts about his performances and we’re going to see him [at his best] in the upcoming games, I’m sure.”

Meanwhile, Paris Saint Germain will concentrate on combating Manchester United’s counter attacks in their Champions League opener today, 18 months after a heart-breaking elimination by the English side in Europe’s premier club competition.

PSG wasted a two-goal first-leg lead in a 3-1 home defeat by United at the last 16 stage in 2019 but this year reached the final before losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in August.

Coach Thomas Tuchel warned that previous achievements would mean nothing at the Parc des Princes, where PSG’s all-time top scorer Edinson Cavani could debut for the visitors.

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