Antonio Conte has told his Chelsea players they must be ‘prepared to suffer’ in their Champions League clash against Barcelona.
The Blaugrana are unbeaten in La Liga this season – where they are seven points clear at the top – and are among the favourites for the Champions League title this season.
“We are talking about the best player in the world,” Conte told reporters in his pre-match press conference.
“Messi has the capacity to solve the situation and create a chance when you are not seeing the chance to score.
“This means that this player, we are talking about a fantastic player. We have to pay great attention, but not only to Messi. [Luis] Suarez is a fantastic striker.
“The other team are very dangerous, so we have to work as a team to try and stop Barcelona: Messi, Suarez, [Andres] Iniesta… the whole team of Barcelona.
“We have to work very hard. We have to know that, during the game, we must be prepared to suffer. But, at the same time, we must have the idea to go and score at any moment.
“I repeat: we are talking about a tough game against a special opponent, a very strong opponent. For this reason, we must pay great attention.
“We must have a plan. Barcelona have specific characteristics: they like to have possession, to dominate the game and create many chances.
“We know very well their characteristics. At the same time, we studied our opponents very well. Now we have to play and do what we know. This is the only way we can get through.”