Difficult to Stop Messi in This Form

Luis Enrique says that no manager has managed to figure out a way to stop Lionel Messi when the Argentine is on song. Messi demonstrated his brilliance by scoring yet another hat-trick for Barcelona in the Champions League. His latest hat-trick came in the 4-0 win over Manchester City, and the result has almost put the Catalan club on the verge of qualification to the knockout stages even with three games remaining. Messi seemed to be on the downward spiral only 12 months ago after managing to experience one of his poorest campaigns in recent years.

Now, though, he is back to his very best after scoring 12 goals, while also creating six more, in just 10 games this season. Messi may be the joint top scorer – alongside Luis Suarez – in the La Liga with seven goals, but he is significantly ahead in the 2016-17 Champions League season with six goals from just 180 minutes.

Barcelona will be hoping that the striker continues the form when they take on Valencia at this weekend. The club cannot afford to drop any more points, as Real Madrid have already taken advantage of the situation to lead the table. Enrique has backed Messi to continue his scoring form against Valencia, who have recently appointed former Italy boss Cesare Prandelli in place of Pako Ayestaran.

"If Leo is at his level, it's going to be very difficult to find a solution to stop him. We still haven't seen anyone who has managed it. We're facing an unknown Valencia, given the short time Prandelli has been in charge. Their situation is not too positive, but the quality of their players can always make things difficult. It's always tough playing away from home. At Mestalla, with their support, it's always tough. I don't remember any easy game,” said Enrique.