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    "A Half-Fit Messi Could Ruin Your Champions League Dreams" ~ Pique Warns Man City

    The Barca defender has seen Messi do it for twelve years now, and he knows "the best in the world" doesn't need to be fully fit to punish.

    Gerard Pique has warned Manchester City even a half-fit Lionel Messi can destroy them in the Champions League.

    Barcelona star man Messi returned from a three-week injury lay-off at the weekend, coming off the bench to score in a 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner will start for Barca in their Champions League showdown with City at the Nou Camp tomorrow, with Pique claiming he can down Pep Guardiola's side – even if he is nowhere near fully fit.


    "He's the best in the world, in my opinion,” said Pique. “He gives us a lot, if he's 100 per cent or if even if he's just 10 per cent fit.

    “He's so different and good that just his presence on the pitch means a lot to us - and to other teams.

    "I see him great right now. In three minutes he can something [from nothing] and - I'll say it again - he's the best player in the world, the best in history.

    "I'm very fond of him, ever since we started playing together at the age of 13. Leo provides a lot, but he needs to be at his best.

    Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez

    "We all need to be at a great level and obviously very often he makes the difference and wins the game, but the team needs to be playing well too."

    City have faced Barca twice in the knockout stage of the Champions League and lost all four encounters, but Pique admitted they are a different proposition under former Nou Camp boss Guardiola.

    "I think Manchester City are a different team from the team that came to the Nou Camp with Manuel Pellegrini in the last few years,” said Pique.
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