Guardiola: Barca must battle Russian chill

MADRID - Barcelona must ignore the sub-zero temperatures in Russia for Wednesday's Champions League match against Rubin Kazan, coach Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday.

The temperature is likely to be around minus seven Celsius (20 Fahrenheit), some 25 degrees colder than the Catalan capital, as holders Barca try to keep top spot in Group F.

"It's going to be cold and that's the way it is, we can't afford to think about it a second longer," Guardiola told a news conference.

"If the team wants to achieve great things this year it has to be able to cope with cold places and muddy pitches."

Argentina forward Lionel Messi said he had never played in such temperatures before.

"To win we'll have to just ignore it," he told a news conference after training. "The important thing is to play a good match."

Group F is tight, with Barca, Rubin and Dynamo Kiev on four points from three matches and Inter Milan on three. No team can secure a spot in the knockout round on Wednesday.

Rubin shocked Barca by winning 2-1 at the Nou Camp last month and Guardiola said he expected the section, with its four national champions, would not be decided until the final matchday next month.

"It's going to be hard for all four teams," he said. "It's a very high quality group."