Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova believes that Lionel Messi can inspire the club to victory in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich. The Catalan club trail the German club 4-0 on aggregate, but the result could have easily been in favour of Barcelona had there been better refereeing decisions. Barcelona were also suffering from the presence of a Lionel Messi, who has not fully fit to play. Yet, Vilanova took the decision to include Messi on the pitch. It was a gamble that backfired massively, as the Argentine star was unable to make any impact on the game.
However, he is expected to have sufficiently recovered from the hamstring problem by the time the second leg starts at the camp Nou. As a result, Vilanova is feeling confident about achieving a comeback, which many have ruled out even after this stage in the tie. The former assistant manager has recalled how Barcelona have been able to produce stunning comebacks in the second leg. A lot rests on the fitness of Messi, who has been quite incredible so far this campaign. There has, however, been criticism of Barcelona that they are too reliant on Messi, as they would have not progressed to the stage of the competition had it not been for the Argentine’s brilliance in the quarter-finals.
“We believe we can fight back. It is our obligation and we are convinced that retaliating is possible. We know that it will be very difficult, but we are Barca and we can never give up on a tie, especially when we still have 90 minutes to play at home. “The more in form he is, the better our chances of getting to the final. A player as good as Messi, at this point in the competition, will have things to say in the match against Bayern,” said Vilanova.