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Puyol: Messi always takes a step forward

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Former Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol believes Lionel and his teammates are under pressure to deliver in the Champions League clash against Lyon.

Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines with his hat-trick that helped Juve overhaul the two-goal deficit against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

And fans would be expecting similar display from the Argentine skipper, but Puyol believes the togetherness of the squad will be the key.

“Messi always takes a step forward [in big games],” the former captain said at a Heineken event.

“He always puts the team on his back, but it’s not just Leo. Football is a team sport and everyone must contribute.

“Together, strong in defence and taking chances [in attack].”

The Catalans experienced a shocking defeat against Roma last season despite going into the tie with a healthy 3-0 lead. And Puyol expects more of the same.

“We have seen in the last few weeks what the Champions League is like,” he stated via Marca.

“Barcelona have the experience from the last few years in which one bad day can send you out. [Barcelona] will have to play a very complete game, but it will not be easy.”

When asked about the favourites for the competition, the former defender sees a lot of strong teams but, clearly, he favours one in particular.

“Barcelona are one of the favourites,” said Puyol. “Juventus have a very good team and, for me, they were alongside Real Madrid from the beginning, but now they [Real Madrid] are out of the competition.

“Manchester City are a very strong side and we will see who advances out of Liverpool and Bayern [Munich]. “But I hope the winner is Barcelona.”