Lionel Messi is reportedly eager to see Philippe Coutinho start for Barcelona against his former club Liverpool in this week’s Champions League semi-final first leg.
These two giants meet at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night in what promises to be one of the games of the season in Europe, with Messi unsurprisingly eager for manager Ernesto Valverde to get his team selection right.
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According to Don Balon, the Argentine is adamant that Coutinho must start over Ousmane Dembele, who is seen as unreliable, while Coutinho would have the motivational factor of coming up against the team he left last season.
The Brazil international may certainly feel he has a point to prove in this big game, having generally proven a bit of a disappointment since he left Anfield for the Nou Camp.
Coutinho was world class at Liverpool, but may now struggle to get a game against them if Valverde opts for Dembele alongside Messi and Luis Suarez instead.
It will be interesting to see how the Barca boss responds to this reported request from his star player.