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Kevin Kilbane on Man United, Mourinho & Messi

I think there is serious pressure on Jose Mourinho now, given how they went out of the Champions League.

United’s Euro Exit
There are issues in a number of areas at Manchester United. I feel as though the side that Mourinho put out, and the tactics that he used, weren’t right. As I said before, I thought Sevilla were quite a poor side actually.

You’re looking at the players on the pitch to provide a bit of spark but they didn’t get in Sevilla’s faces, they didn’t close down well enough. So, in general, there’s a little bit of pressure on everyone at Man United.

If their season peters out and doesn’t necessarily finish with a trophy – because it’s all about United winning the FA Cup now – then there will be serious pressure on Mourinho.

If they don’t win anything this season, given how far behind Man City they are in the league, then there’ll be questions asked of him.

Given his new contract, I don’t think he will leave. I read reports that the hierarchy at United weren’t happy with the way his side were set up. There was no bigger name than Mourinho to go in there and he’s not necessarily getting a kick at the moment. It’s a huge job to take on.

Messi Brilliance
There are very few words that haven’t been used to describe Lionel Messi. He’s simply majestic, simply magnificent.

I’ve been fortunate enough to play against him and fortunate enough to go and watch him in big Champions League games for Barcelona and it’s a total pleasure every time you go to watch him.

What an outstanding individual. He’s not the sort of player that rolls around the pitch after being kicked, he just gets up and gets on with it. He’s not petulant, he just seems to be a player who simply enjoys playing football.

His first goal against Chelsea was, perhaps, a little fortunate but the second one – how many times have we seen him score that type of goal? He’s quite simply outstanding.

Chelsea played quite well on the night but…

Lionel Messi, invariably, is the difference in those big games.

That’s the difference. When you’ve got a player like him in your side, you can win anything. If Barcelona are to win the Champions League this season, it has to be about Lionel Messi. Overall, I feel they’re probably slightly weaker than in recent years.

Champions League Winners
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Liverpool or Manchester City win it.

Both those sides can beat any team that’s left in the competition.

Teams won’t relish going to Anfield and, given the style of play that they’ve got, I think it’s quite right that City are favourites for the tournament.

Bayern Munich, given their home form, given how they play, will be a difficult side to stop in general. But I don’t think they have enough overall. They haven’t seriously strengthened over the last year or two and they’ve fallen short.

Real Madrid are coming good at the right time again. I was at the return leg against PSG and I was really impressed with how they defended.

I think the winner will come from City, Liverpool or Real Madrid.

I don’t think Barcelona have got quite enough, unless Lionel Messi produces the magic like he produced against Chelsea. I just don’t think they’ve enough in their side to go and compete with those other three teams.




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