Glasgow: Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has described Lionel Messi’s absence from the Champions League squad to face Celtic as “a blow”, but has pointed out that the Spanish champions are not a one-man team.
Messi has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a thigh injury after limping out of Saturday’s 2-0 win at Almeria.
While his absence is a major setback for Gerardo Martino’s side, Zubizarreta does not want to use it as an excuse.
“He’s a very difficult player to replace,” Zubizarreta said. “We must do without the best player in the world. We have a squad with extraordinary players.
“The players who are here are very good and we have to play with what we have.”
Messi played in Barcelona’s 1-2 defeat by Celtic in the group stages of last year’s competition.
“It’s always a pleasure to play at Celtic Park,” he said. “We’re expecting a great atmosphere against an opposition that made things very difficult for us last year.
“They showed they knew how to play and how to beat us. They are very strong on their ground and look to play with a lot of pressure. We know how we must play.”