Lionel Messi came 'very close' to joining Espanyol in 2005 - Mauricio Pochettino

Grant SmithOct 03, 2018

"We have to focus on our team because we also have great players, and though it's never good to see your teammates injured, I think we have a great squad and we all have the opportunity to participate".

"As players you want to play against the best in the world and Messi is certainly that".

Tottenham are facing a number of injury worries ahead of their Champions League game against Barcelona with Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Serge Aurier all missing training on Tuesday. Then they played in the World Cup.

Fellow keeper Michel Vorm, meanwhile, is expected to be back in training before the end of the week as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

The Argentine began the European campaign with a hat trick last time out against PSV Eindhoven. We must play on Monday against City and then Wednesday or Thursday and then on Saturday again. "We need to demand sacrifice and they will expend a lot of energy", Pochettino said.

Harry Kane was back among the goals after scoring twice during the victory at Huddersfield on Saturday and the England global will be a key player if Tottenham are to get a positive result tomorrow.

"More than it worrying you, it needs to excite you to play and so you can say, "Oh, I played against Messi", or "I played against [Diego] Maradona", or "I played against Ronaldo".

"He's set the standard". "50-60 goals a season, as a striker I want to try to match that and do the same".

"It motivates me to get even better and improve and hopefully one day score as many, if not more, than he has".

And in their last game, the Catalan giants were held 1-1 by Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou in which Lionel Messi only came on in the second half and was unable to net the winning goal.

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