Chelsea have drawn Barcelona once again in the Champions League knockout stages and thanks to the glorious nature of the internet, old comments from Messi in 2006 have resurfaced.
The two teams have a long and fiery history with many games ending with controversy.
The last time Chelsea played Barcelona in the Champions league semi-finals, Chelsea’s captain John Terry was sent off and the Blues defended for their lives throughout the entire match until Ramires and Fernando Torres scored those famous goals to put Chelsea through to the final, which the Blues ultimately won in 2012.
And prior to that, in 2009, Chelsea were angered by the referee in their Champions League semi-final game against Barcelona, which they lost, as they felt they should have had four penalties.
And now, old comments from Messi have resurfaced following the Champions league draw.
The Argentinian made the comments prior to a group game in 2006 against Chelsea. This was the season after Barcelona had knocked out Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 which saw Blues full-back Assier Del Horno (remember him?) sent off after a challenge on Messi. Blues boss at the time Jose Mourinho was furious with Messi and accused him of play-acting.
Messi, then 19, told News of the World : “There are players here who hate Chelsea more than Real Madrid. I never thought I would hear myself say that.
“I also never thought I would see something worse than the Boca and River Plate rivalry or Brazil v Argentina – but this is.
“We would rather play Arsenal, Manchester United or anyone else than be on the pitch with Chelsea.”
Messi has faced Chelsea eight times and has amazingly never scored against the Blues. The world’s best player will be hoping to break that drought when he squares off against Conte’s men at Stamford Bridge.
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