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Mark Lawrenson fears that a Barcelona player is the difference against Liverpool at Nou Camp




Manchester United failed to put a glove on Lionel Messi at Nou Camp (Nick Potts / PA)
Manchester United failed to put a glove on Lionel Messi at Nou Camp (Nick Potts / PA)

Kevin Palmer

Mark Lawrenson is worried that Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi will have a "half-hour madness" that will lead Liverpool to the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Liverpool's ambassador and legend Lawrenson hailed Argentine Messi as the best player the game has ever seen since he has suggested it will be impossible to stop him if he finds his best form in the Champions League semi-final.

"Messi can go quiet in a game and then he has one of his crazy half hour where he takes a hat-trick and takes away the opposition game," said former Irish defender Lawrenson.

"You can craft plans to try to stop the ball for him, to close the space for him to weave his magic, but his performances in the last decade and more prove that it is almost impossible to stop when he is at the top." Format.

"Messi is the best football player I have ever seen and I was fortunate to see the best of Pelé until Diego Maradona and now Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I was a nine-year-old in the stands and I remember seeing Pele being forgotten at Goodison Park, but he still showed flashes of brilliance and I never thought I would see a player as good as Maradona.

"Messi is that player, and he's the best guy I've ever seen." The guy does things that take his breath away and he does it week after week, year after year.

"If he was not playing on Wednesday night, I would be confident that Liverpool would get a positive result against Barcelona at Nou Camp, but the Messi factor changes that prediction.

"Barcelona are a good team and Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho are two former Liverpool players who are among the best players in the world when they are in shape, but Messi is one step ahead of all and Liverpool have to find a way to keep it as still as possible. "

Lawrenson is supporting Liverpool to score at least one away goal against Barcelona as he suggests that Jurgen Klopp's team will not change their approach to face opponents who are accustomed to possession of the ball for long periods in matches.

"One thing I like about this Liverpool team is that they will go to the Camp Nou and play as they have played throughout the season," he added.

"They do not go there and try to defend or park the bus, to use a modern phrase. They will try to win a part of the ball, face the newly crowned Spanish champions and come back to stand out."

"Klopp took this approach to the Champions League games against Manchester City last season and went on to win 5-1, so Barcelona will be wary of the threat that Liverpool will pose."

"Indeed, every football team will fear this Liverpool team, as the top three are so clinical, the backs are amazing at both ends of the field and in Virgil van Dijk, they have the best team central defender . " games.

"Van Dijk v Messi is a game that must be fascinating to watch and I can not see it being anything other than a great football match between two attacking teams."

Mark Lawrenson is an ambassador for Paddy Power.

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