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Messi set to play

Xavi: It's a clash between Europe’s top two

It's been a while since so many world-renowned players took to the Allianz Arena turf at the same time, but Monday evening’s Barcelona training session prior to the Champions League semi-final first leg featured no fewer than nine European championship winners – and eight of them also rank as current world champions. The only truly big-name absentee was club captain Carles Puyol, who is currently working his way back after knee surgery.

But European player of the year Andrés Iniesta was out on the field, alongside a certain Lionel Messi, the four-time World Player of the Year and the linchpin of a side packed with skilful star men. Messi was rated doubtful for Tuesday evening's clash for a long time as he struggled to shake off a hamstring problem, but the Argentine, the Catalans’ top Champions League scorer with eight goals, has reported fit in time.