Lionel Messi will make his 141th Champions League appearance for Barcelona tonight – drawing him level in the all-time appearance list with Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.
Messi will spearhead Barca’s attack away at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples as they look to banish the painful memories of their last European knockout match – the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in last season’s semi-final.
The Argentine has won the competition on four occasions and will want another before ending his immense spell at the Nou Camp.
Going all the way will help him edge closer to the top of the all-time appearance list in the Champions League.
Messi draws level with United hero Giggs tonight when playing his 141st match.
In the second-leg of the Napoli tie he’ll equal Real Madrid legend Raul’s 142 games in the tournament, if he plays.
Former team-mate Xavi will then be next on the list at 151 Champions League games.
Rival Cristiano Ronaldo is a long way ahead with 168 matches in the competition.
Former Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas is the all-time appearance maker with 177.
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At City or in Barca it will be welcome
Bernardo Silva on playing alongside Lionel Messi
Messi makes his 141st appearance tonight at the home of Argentina legend Diego Maradona’ former club.
Maradona is a hero in the Italian city after leaving Barca in 1984 and spending seven seasons with Napoli, where he led them to two Serie A titles and the 1989 Uefa Cup.
One man flirting with a move to Barcelona to play alongside Messi is Manchester City star Bernardo Silva.
When asked if he wanted to play alongside the six-time Ballon d’Or winner: “Of course.
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“I play with Cristiano in the national team and if I played with Messi, being able to say that I played with the best in history would be a pleasure, but it is a complicated matter. At City or in Barca it will be welcome.”
On manager Pep Guardiola, a legend at Barcelona, he added: “You learn a lot every day, it is a pleasure and he is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, and the results speak for themselves.
“Since I arrived two-and-a-half years ago, everything we have achieved here is very much due to Pep so it’s a pleasure to have him.”
Napoli vs Barcelona kicks off at 8pm tonight.
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