Valverde praises Barca for stepping up in Messi's absence

Lionel Messi

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois threatens to sue Spanish paper for Mourinho, Conte claims

Rafinha filled in for the injured Lionel Messi by scoring the opening goal to lead Barcelona to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday. Thankfully Leo Messi who went through Courtois' legs twice will be out but the 26-year-old will be determined to put in a good display.

The first four meetings were between FC Barcelona and "Madrid CF.' It wasn't until 1920 that the Real prefix was given to the capital city club by King Alfonso XIII; 'Real" translates as "Royal" in English.

For the first time this season, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid will face each other when La Blaugrana welcome their bitter rivals to the Nou Camp on Sunday in a highly anticipated match which could influence the confidence level of each side.

"We all had to step up given that everyone, my players, our fans, our adversaries, we all had Messi's absence on our minds", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

The win left them joint top of Group B, with Inter also taking six points out of six.

Messi suffered a fractured arm during the 4-2 victory over Sevilla last weekend , which enhanced Barca's position at the top of the table but caused them to lose the five-time Ballon d'Or victor for around three weeks.

The kick-off time for the match is 4:15pm.

"Messi is an exceptional player, because when you think you have seen everything in football he comes and shows you something else".

In addition, under-fire club manager Julen Lopetegui was also involved in the promotional activity, despite the possibility of his exit from the Galaticos in the coming days. This is only the first victory of "Barcelona" is taken with the index of 1.50, the second at 1.55. "We focus on sporting matters alone". "There were moments at the start of the season when Madrid was playing brilliantly".

The unbeaten Bundesliga leaders, in imperious form all season, gave their fans another treat with goals from Axel Witsel, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro (two).

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is expected to start in between the sticks.

"With Messi, they would have caused us more problems, but without him that caused us enough trouble as it was", Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said.

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