Barcelona set to unleash magical Messi

Holders Barcelona hope Argentine sensation Lionel Messi can continue his rich vein of goalscoring form today against VfB Stuttgart in the second leg of the last 16 Champions League tie at Camp Nou.

Messi bagged a terrific hat-trick of solo goals in the 3-0 win over Valencia on Sunday to take his season's tally to 22 league goals and now Stuttgart must somehow find a way to nullify the Ballon D'Or winner. "He (Messi) is the best in the world. What he contributes with his talent makes him stand out," said goalkeeper Victor Valdes. "He could become the best player in history."

Barcelona begin as favourites to reach the quarter-finals after the 1-1 first leg draw in Germany but the treble winners need only look at rivals Real Madrid who were eliminated in front of their own fans by the less prestigious Lyon at the last 16 stage.


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