Chelsea v Barca: ‘We won’t Focus on Messi’ – Conte Blasts

Ahead of their blockbuster first-leg round of 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona Tuesday, Antonio Conte says Chelsea have something up their sleeves against the Spanish giants.

Barca will be looking to avenge their painful 2012 Champions League semi-final ouster at the hands of Chelsea on their way to being crowned champions for the first time in the club’s history.

But Lionel Messi and co come up against a resurgent Blues with a point to prove after a stuttering defence of their Premier League title so far.

Speaking ahead of the clash tonight, Conte said: “For sure we are talking about a massive game tomorrow and it won’t be easy but with this type of game we must be excited. We must have ambition to play our football.

“Chelsea start the game as underdogs and these two games against Barcelona will be important for finding our level in this competition. We must be excited about the challenge of tomorrow’s game.

“We have a plan for the game and it is important to choose players in good form, and then to try to do our best during the game.

“We have to face Barcelona with our strength, and play with great enthusiasm and passion.”

Conte added that his side will not focus only on the talismanic Messi as Barcelona parades other important players who can do damage.

“Messi is the best player in the world but there are other players in their side we must stop as well, and we have to work hard as a team to do so.”

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