'Messi is Barcelona's marquee player' - Villa

The Spanish attacker has vowed to do everything in his power to assist the Argentine, and feels the Blaugrana's backline have what it takes to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Barcelona attacker David Villa has insisted he will work hard to help "marquee player" Lionel Messi against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.

The Blaugrana visit the Parc des Princes in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final this week having surpassed AC Milan in the last 16 despite losing the away tie 2-0.

The former Valencia forward has shied away from suggesting that the 2010-11 winners are favourites, but heralded his own form and hopes to start against Carlo Ancelotti's side.

He told reporters on Monday evening: "Messi is our marquee player and I will work hard to help him and the team.

"I'm in a great moment - I'm confident, happy and enjoying my football. Hopefully I'll play some minutes against PSG to help my team.

"In a competition like this it is difficult to analyse who is the favourite. Anyone can eliminate the other and finish as winners at the end. It does not matter how much history the club has either, the winner will be decided on the field.

"We know we need an important away goal and we will be working to get it. We know we have the return at the Camp Nou but we can advance much better with an away goal.

"Over 180 minutes it is going to be very complicated and we need to be careful. Tomorrow it is going to get very complicated and we cannot make the same mistake that we did against Milan."

Villa has highlighted former Camp Nou striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG defensive rock Thiago Silva as les Parisiens' dangermen ahead of the last-eight clash.

"It's hard to stop players like Ibra," he added. "It should be a good night and I trust our defence as they have already faced him in the past and have been victorious.

"Thiago Silva is one of the best centre-backs in the world. We'll have to try to hope he does not have a good day and try to get one over him offensively, but be careful as he can be great from set pieces.

"PSG are a team that have made lots of signings who are valuable and have given them a great reputation as being among the best in Europe. Hopefully tomorrow will see a great game between two very important clubs."

Tito Vilanova travelled with the squad to Paris and, though he is not expected to step back on to the sidelines for Roura against PSG on Tuesday, Villa is thrilled to have the head coach back with the Catalunya team.

He added: "It is very important that Tito is well, and it is especially good to see him happy and enjoying it here near us, we expect everything to be good news from now on."