The Italian does not think that the Argentine’s restoration to the starting line-up will affect Neymar and Luis Suarez, who have both netted 11 times in their past 11 games
Carlo Ancelotti says Lionel Messi’s likely return to the Barcelona starting line-up is “not good news for Roma”, insisting that Neymar and Luis Suarez will be even more effective with the Argentine back alongside them.
Messi suffered a knee injury in a Liga game against Las Palmas on September 26, prompting fears that the Catalan club could struggle without their talismanic No.10.
However, Neymar and Suarez have flourished in his absence, with both men netting 11 times in the 11 games that they have started without Messi, sparking a debate over whether the pair perform better without the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, who made his comeback as a substitute in Saturday’s 4-0 rout of Real Madrid.
Ancelotti, though, says that the fit-again Messi is only going to make Barca stronger, pointing out that his wonderful on-field rapport with his fellow South Americans was the key factor in last season’s historic treble triumph.
“Messi’s return is not good news for Roma,” the Italian coach told Goal ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Camp Nou.
“It’s true that Suarez and Neymar are doing very well but clearly Barca with Messi are something else. Messi brings goals, quality… He brings everything!
“He brings enthusiasm to his team-mates, who know that they have by their side a player capable of unlocking any game at any moment.
“It’s obviously better to play a Barca without him. Messi’s presence will only relegate Neymar and Suarez to the background in terms of media coverage, because on the field they do certainly not reside in the background.
“They had an extraordinary finish to last season, finding a special chemistry that allowed Barcelona to win everything.
“I don’t see them suffering with Messi, neither Neymar nor Suarez.”