Messi leads demolition of Lyon to take Barca to Champions League quarters

Welcome to FIFA.com News - Barcelona and Liverpool complete quarter-final line-up

Messi then responded by scoring a brace during Barcelona's 5-1 win over Lyon on Wednesday to also secure a place in the next round.

And though Messi thought Diego Simeone's side would make it more hard for the Bianconeri, he hailed the match-winning display his fellow five-time Ballon d'Or victor churned in.

The pair of generational greats have often been seen as reluctant to praise the other, but speaking after the win against Lyon at the Nou Camp, Messi said: "What Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus did was impressive".

The 26-year-old is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "In the last few weeks, months even, I've not been playing well but I still want to improve".

The Argentine broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with a lovely Panenka penalty before tying Lyon's defenders in knots for his second goal.

With both Juve and Barca in the hat for Friday's quarterfinal draw, the pair of generational greats could soon cross paths - although Messi said the challenge posed by any of the remaining teams was a tough one.

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"We try to turn the page - we obviously had our weaknesses last year and we tried to fix those and do much better this year". There were regulation changes in 2017 that some thought might slow them down, but they powered right through them.

Lucas Tousart's effort pulled Lyon back into the tie briefly and Messi, who scored Barca's third and then created goals for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele, admitted the Catalans nearly let things get away from them. "We complicated things for ourselves at a set play because they hadn't done anything [until then]". "We spent minutes of suffering, [but] with 3-1 everything calmed down".

The Brazil worldwide brushed off talk of a summer exit for now and said his focus is on Sunday's game against Real Betis as Barca continue to compete on three fronts.

"You never know what the future holds".

And Evra, a Champions League victor alongside Ronaldo in 2008, has shared his WhatsApp exchange with the Portuguese, insisting that he is the best player in the world.

"I'm very happy to have won and to have qualified in what was a very important match". "Sometimes he is just unstoppable".

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