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Portugal: Setien praises Lewandowki but says Messi is better ahead of Munich match

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Mandatory Credit: ©UEFA 2020

FC Barcelona coach Quique Setien praised Bayern Munich’s Polish centre-forward Robert Lewandowski as a “great footballer” but “not up to the level of Leo [Messi]” at a press conference in Lisbon ahead of the clash between the two teams in the Champions League.

He also took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of the whole team, since “without the strength of the team Leo he would be less [important].”

Setien made the comment in response to a question from a journalist regarding the comments of Karl-Henz Rummenigge and Lothar Matthaus, former Bayer Munich players, who said that Messi is facing his successor as the best player in the world.

FC Barcelona player Arturo Vidal also spoke about the comments of the managers and former players of the German club, and said that “I know the people of Bayer, the players, and I think that what is being said outside is not what the players think. Clearly they are very confident, but tomorrow they are not playing against the Bundesliga teams, they are playing against Barcelona, the best team in the world.”

Vidal admitted that he understands the scepticism of the fans, as “we are the best team in the world but in La Liga in the last few games we didn’t reflect that on the pitch,” although he recalled that “if we connect with each other and do things right we can beat anyone.”

FC Barcelona and Bayer Munich will meet in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Friday at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon at 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Quique Setien, FC Barcelona coach (Spanish): “Lewandowski is a great player, but I don’t think he’s up to the level of Leo [Messi]. I think that’s clear. It’s true that he’s in a great moment now, Lewandowski. He has, I don’t know if it’s thirteen goals in Champions, and it’s true that he is very well assisted by many colleagues around him, who can also do a lot. He is in a great moment but Leo too. We saw him the other day against Napoli. And also I think, that it’s good, that these footballers are on the pitch and that we can enjoy them, of course.”

SOT, Quique Setien, FC Barcelona coach (Spanish): “Leo Messi can help [us] win the match, obviously, but I’ve always believed in the strength of the team. And it’s true that Messi has to be assisted as well, and the ball has to be put in his feet. It’s true that he’s capable of making his own… He can score goals himself, but without the strength of the team, Leo would be less [important]. Just like any other player that we can highlight.”

SOT, Quique Setien, FC Barcelona coach (Spanish): “Well, we’re worried about a lot of things about Bayern. Because it’s a very complete team. They’re capable of pressing, they’re capable of defending as well. It’s a team that is very dangerous, that has a lot of people in offence, that presses well. But, well, we already know all this.”

SOT, Arturo Vidal, FC Barcelona player (Spanish): “I’ve really listened [to what Bayer Munich officials and former players have said], but I haven’t taken much notice because I know the people of Bayer, the players, and I think that what is being said outside is not what the players think. Clearly they are very confident, but tomorrow they are not playing against the Bundesliga teams, they are playing against Barcelona, the best team in the world.”

SOT, Arturo Vidal, FC Barcelona player (Spanish):”Yes, yes, I understand. No, because, I have said it, we are the best team in the world but in La Liga in the last few games we didn’t reflect that on the pitch. That’s why we lost the league. But we have all the talent, we have Leo, we have the best players. If we connect with each other and do things right, we can beat anyone.”

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