Facing Barcelona is like racing Usain Bolt, quips Valladolid boss

Visiting coach Juan Ignacio Martinez believes that Neymar will make up for the absence of Lionel Messi on Saturday when he takes his side to play the Catalan giants at Camp Nou
Valladolid boss Juan Ignacio Martinez claims that trying to beat Barcelona is like taking on sprinter Usain Bolt at the Olympic Games.

The Primera Division champions play host to the Pucela on Saturday with a 100 per cent record in La Liga so far this season and the 49-year-old is in no doubt as to the size of the task at hand.

"These games are marked in the calendar with a lot of excitement," he told reporters.

"Things have been very difficult. I don't want to be pessimistic but this is like going to the Olympics to face Usain Bolt. You have to face the challenge.

"We're a team that has to try things. We must express our personality with the ball, although it will be difficult with the pressure they put you under in every area [of the pitch]."

Lionel Messi is ruled out of the match with a thigh injury but Martinez believes that Neymar is more than capable of filling the creative void left by the Argentine.

"They have plenty of alternatives, including Neymar, who gives the kind of thing which the Argentine brings," he observed. "Messi is the best in the world and can make a difference, even when injured."