Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta concedes losing Lionel Messi for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Celtic is a blow but has pointed out the Catalan giants are no one-man team. Messi has been ruled out for up to three weeks after suffering a thigh injury during Saturday’s 2-0 Primera Division victory at Almeria, a result that saw Barca set a club record of seven successive league wins to start a season. Four-time world player of the year Messi has, unsurprisingly, been instrumental in that success with eight goals in La Liga already this term and his loss is a major setback for Gerardo Martino’s side, but Zubizarreta does not want to use the Argentinian’s absence as an excuse. “He’s a very difficult player to replace,” Zubizarreta told reporters as Barca prepared to fly to Scotland. “We must do without the best player in the world, but we have a squad with extraordinary players. “The players who are here are very good and we have to play with what we have.” Even with Messi in their side, Barcelona were still beaten by Celtic when the clubs met in last season’s Champions League at Celtic Park. Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony… Read full this story
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