Tuesday night sees the first of the Champion’s league semi final first leg matches, with Bayern Munich at home to Barcelona.
The Germans are fresh from thrashing Hannover 96 and have already won their league in record time, so morale will be sky-high.
The domestic pundits say Bayern are playing the most modern football in their history and look strong in every department, and after finishing in the bridesmaid’s spot last year will be keen for consummation this time around, whether they come up against the world’s best player or not.
“Barca is more than just Messi. It is a great group and of course they also know how to play football. They know how to play at the highest level and we are preparing ourselves for this, for a team with an enormous amount of quality, even though Bayern can also play at this level,” says Bayern’s coach Jupp Heynckes.
The Man himself is struggling to shake off a dodgy hamstring, but Barcelona won at the weekend without Messi and may prefer to keep him fresh for the return leg at home, especially as their fourth domestic championship in five years is nearly in the bag. Stand-in coach Jordi Roura insists he will not decide until after the final training session. Otherwise Barcelona are at full strength to take on the might of Munich.