Lionel Messi came 'very close' to joining Espanyol in 2005 - Mauricio Pochettino

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The quintet will also not be fit for the Premier League match with struggling Cardiff on Saturday.

Spurs conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 to Inter Milan in their first Group B match, but Pochettino demanded a positive approach against the La Liga champions.

"We would have been teammates, and maybe I would have still been in Espanyol managing him!"

"It's about enjoying the game tomorrow and the best player in the world in Messi", he said.

Last season Tottenham ensured qualification for the knockout stage with a memorable 3-1 win over Real Madrid at Wembley but Pochettino thinks it will be hard to replicate the performance against Barcelona. We are not victims, though. We need to produce that same energy, the crowd were wonderful that night.

Harry Kane has set his sights on emulating the incredible goal-scoring feats of Lionel Messi as the Tottenham striker prepares for his shoot-out with the Barcelona legend.Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane reacts after missing a chance during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium in London, on December 26, 2017. We must feel strong.

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi continue to set the bar, and Kane believes that's a motivating factor.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that Harry Kane is among 5 players that definitely need to leave their current clubs if they want to win the Champions League cup.

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris, who has not played since August due to a thigh injury, resumed full training on Tuesday and will start against Barca.

"I'm not going to try to find a solution", Pochettino said.

Messi has scored 103 Champions League goals, more than any other player, and has eight hat tricks in the competition.

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