Messi & Barca out of this world, says Jorge Jesus

The Benfica trainer has heaped praise on the Ballon d'Or winner and Barca prior to their Champions League clash on Wednesday, but hopes his side can spring a surprise against them
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has hailed Barcelona and Lionel Messi before his side's Champions League meeting on Wednesday.

The Eagles currently sit second in Group G and can guarantee qualification to the knockout stages if they equal or better Celtic's result against Spartak Moscow.

And the Portuguese is hoping that fortune is on their side as they look for a positive result in Spain.

"The two best teams in the world are Barcelona and Real Madrid and so to beat them you need a bit of luck. We believe we have a chance of surprising Barca at some moment in the game," the 58-year-old told reporters.

The former Sporting midfielder also warned of the dangers his team would face in playing against Messi, who is currently one goal short of Gerd Muller's record.

"Messi plays in a certain way with Barcelona, and the fact that he doesn't play as well with Argentina is no coincidence, it's because Barca have a way of playing which Messi and the other players understand, and that increases the quality of their play," said Jesus.

"I don't think the fact that Messi can beat a record tomorrow means Barcelona will alter the way the play, nor will the fact that they have five players missing for the game, because we also have players out.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday] Barcelona won't play for Messi, Messi will contribute to Barcelona's way of playing.

"Everyone knows that Messi's passing is decisive, as are his individual runs. His level of play is out of this world and the football Barcelona play as a result is also out of this world.

"That's why they are the best team in the world at the moment."