FC Barcelona's 1-3 defeat to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Saturday night continues to exact a heavy toll on the Catalan club with news filtering in Monday that midfielder Andres Iniesta will be out of action for three to four weeks.
As a 17-year-old, Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona ten years ago against city rivals Espanyol in a Catalan derby. Since then, the diminutive Argentine has gone on to create football records once considered impossible.
While Real Madrid`s fearsome attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema has become known collectively as "BBC" in Spain, Barcelona are confident "MNS" can be at least as lethal.
Basel coach Paulo Sousa believes his side can trouble the established powers of Real Madrid and Liverpool in their quest to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for just the second time in the club`s history.
Following their 2-0 win over the visiting Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique heaped praise on Lionel Messi. Enrique said that the Argentine is their comic book hero and can do things that people can't do on a Playstation video game. The coach also felt that manga super-hero Captain Tsubasa aka Flash Kicker would struggle to match Messi's magic.
European champions Real Madrid could be without the world`s most expensive player Welshman Gareth Bale and Portuguese defender Pepe when they meet city rivals and domestic champions Atletico Madrid in Tuesday`s first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
Real Madrid took a huge step towards their first Champions League final in 12 years as Karim Benzema`s first-half goal gave them a 1-0 first-leg lead over holders Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu.