MX23RW : Friday, July 20 22:27:01

Lionel Messi: 'Manchester City can beat Barcelona to Champions League crown'

Messi: 'Man City can beat Barcelona'
© Offside
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi admits that Manchester City are capable of beating the Spanish giants, should the teams be paired in the Champions League knockout stages.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has admitted that Manchester City are capable of beating the Spanish giants, should the teams be paired in the Champions League knockout stages.

The last-16 phase of the competition, which kicks off this week, sees City face Basel and Barca face Chelsea.

Speaking to The Mirror, Argentine forward Messi has said that while Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also have the potential to beat Barcelona, Pep Guardiola's team are more likely to knock out the Catalan club.

"Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain," the 30-year-old said. "I also do not exclude Real Madrid in terms of quality and experience, even though they have not yet achieved the expected results.

"Then there's Bayern Munich, another great team who will play until the end. Today, however, the best are City and PSG."

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur also resume Champions League action this week, facing Porto and Juventus respectively.

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017
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