Javi Martinez has reflected that Lionel Messi’s presence for Barcelona-Bayern Munich is ‘very good news for football’.
The Argentine is expected to recover in time for next week’s Champions League semi-final first leg against the Bavarians, after a thigh injury picked up in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
For Bayern’s Spanish midfielder, the prospect of facing up to the Argentine makes the last four challenge all the greater.
“He’s the best player in the world and perhaps in history,” reflected Martinez to reporters today.
“We will be very aware of him. We want to be in the final and if we can beat everyone then all the better.
“It seems that Leo is going to recover and that’s very good news for football.
“We know in the dressing room who we are facing. It will be complicated. I had the misfortune to measure myself against them many times.
“You have to push hard and not let them think. In less than a second you can concede a goal. The best result I got with them was a draw at San Mames. For some time they have been doing impossible things.
“The importance of the game? A final at a World Cup or European Championship is also important. Bielsa taught me last year not to distinguish between games.
“All challenges are important and in each the nerves are there, with the tingling feeling in the stomach.”
Martinez was linked with a move to Barca before eventually switching to Bayern last summer.
“I never considered that I could have played for Barca. These are things in the media. I have come to Bayern and there is no bitterness.
“It is going great and I am very happy to be champion of Germany with this shirt and this badge.
“We arrive in this game at a great moment, but there are few games like this nowadays.”
“Bayern can play when they have the ball and when they don’t. We are prepared for everything and we are ready for it if they want the ball.
“We are aware of what type of match this is.”