Skip to main content
Main content

Messi absence not an issue in ECL: Enrique

Barcelona say they have enough options to fill the gap left by Lionel Messi in the Champions League.
Messi absence not an issue in ECL: Enrique
Photo Source: AP

More Champions League News

Barcelona will travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach for their Champions League match on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) without Lionel Messi, but the Spaniards have enough options and firepower to plug the gap left by the Argentine, coach Luis Enrique said.

Messi has been sidelined for three weeks with a groin injury but Barca were unaffected by their leader's absence on Saturday, firing five goals past Sporting Gijon in a show of force ahead of their second Group C match.

Their opening game in Europe was even more impressive as the Spaniards crushed Celtic 7-0 to move top of the standings on goal difference ahead of Manchester City, led by their former coach Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona have scored 18 goals in four games since losing 2-1 at home to Alaves on Sept. 10, with Neymar and Luis Suarez in fine form.

"I have different kinds of players and that gives me a lot of options," Luis Enrique said.

"Depending on who we are playing and the players I have available, I will pick the ones that I think are right for the situation.

"To lose Messi means that football loses. With Messi we are stronger, but we will continue being strong," he said.

He rested several players on Saturday, including Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Javier Mascherano.

For Barca keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen it will be an emotional return to the club he left in 2014.

"I had a fantastic time there and played for the club my entire career apart for the last two years," Ter Stegen said.

AAP©2016 AAP