As the European champions arrive in West London to face Chelsea, Back of the Net (opens in new tab)'s Paul Watson reveals a major oversight in their pre-match scouting...
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has confessed in his pre-game press conference that he believed Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was a prepositional phrase rather than a functional centre-back.
In the build-up to Wednesday eveningÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League clash, Cahill has been vocal in his belief the Blues can upset BarÃÂ§a and his comments have deeply unsettled the La Liga giantsÃ¢ÂÂ camp.
Ã¢ÂÂWe were shocked to hear CahillÃ¢ÂÂs rallying call, not least because not one of us had heard of this man, Gary Cahill,Ã¢ÂÂ the Ballon dÃ¢ÂÂOr winner told journalists.
Talk of 'El Cahill' has been rife in the Catalan press in recent days
Ã¢ÂÂI asked Cesc [Fabregas] if he remembered him from the Premier League and he said he thought Ã¢ÂÂGary CahillÃ¢ÂÂ was just an English phrase," Messi explained. "You know, something like Ã¢ÂÂwith all due respect.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ
Over the last few days, reports from the Barcelona camp suggest that Ã¢ÂÂGary CahillÃ¢ÂÂ had entered into the playersÃ¢ÂÂ vernacular, playing an ungainly and obtrusive role in usually flowing sentences.
During an open training session wave after wave of promising attacks petered out in a crescendo of confused calls of Ã¢ÂÂNow, Gary CahillÃ¢ÂÂ, Ã¢ÂÂGary Cahill, first-time ball, Gary Cahill.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOf course IÃ¢ÂÂm worried about Cahill,Ã¢ÂÂ Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola admitted. Ã¢ÂÂHe just has that ability to interfere with our play, especially on a syntactic level, but, Gary Cahill, we feel we have what it takes to get the result we need, Gary Cahill.Ã¢ÂÂ
There will be pressure on Guardiola to get pre-match preparations correct. He came under fire back in February following BarcaÃ¢ÂÂs shock defeat to an Osasuna side many of his players believed was a water park.
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