Lionel Messi's absence is a big blow for Barcelona and levels the playing field for Inter in their Champions League clash, according to captain Mauro Icardi.
Barca will be without five-time Ballon d'Or winner and superstar Messi for Wednesday's fixture at Camp Nou after he broke his arm in last week's 4-2 victory against Sevilla in LaLiga.
Inter and Barca have won their opening two games heading into matchday three and Icardi believes the Serie A side can go toe-to-toe with the LaLiga champions in the absence of Messi.
"It's a pity Messi can't be there because it's nice to play against great footballers like him, who is one of the best in the world," Icardi said.
"He's a big miss and it means we can go head to head [with Leo gone] because we have the qualities needed to take them on."
Lethal. Clinical. Predator.— Inter (@Inter_en) October 22, 2018
Our Nerazzurri No.9 pic.twitter.com/VEMFICt0Lb
Icardi and Inter head to Barcelona full of confidence following their last-gasp derby win over AC Milan on Sunday.
Inter skipper Icardi was the hero thanks to his 92nd-minute header at San Siro, where Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma misjudged Matias Vecino's cross.
"We had a great September before the international break and we had to win to stay on this path, so we could arrive at Barcelona with this mentality, which is very important for us," Icardi added.
Icardi also discussed his future, having been linked with Champions League holders Real Madrid and Chelsea.
The 25-year-old Argentina international – who has scored at least 20 league goals in three of the previous four seasons – is out of contract in 2021 with a reported €110million release clause for foreign clubs.
"There is a lot of talk but I'm happy at Inter, with my present and the future that I can have here," Icardi said. "When offers come we will evaluate them but I'm very happy to stay."
19 de abril 2019
|We always expect something special from Messi – Valverde|
|The O-Line bond behind two Heisman Trophies - Dru Samia & Ben Powers talk protecting Baker Mayfield|
|Super Saints thrash sorry Wigan as Leeds Rhinos climb off the bottom|
|Ramsey could return in two weeks, says Emery|
|Valverde surprised by Coutinho controversy|
|Sexton, Mako Vunipola return for European Champions Cup|
|Under-strength Hurricanes survive Sunwolves scare|
|Lingard admits top-four finish would be ´massive´ for Manchester United|
|Icardi planning Inter stay - agent Wanda Nara|
|Impossible to recreate Ajax model in Serie A – Spalletti|
|Elijah Holyfield set for NFL armed with fatherly advice and Georgia grounding|
|Guardiola ´delighted´ for Ajax boss Ten Hag|
|He can be an important player for us - Gattuso leaves door open for Silva|
|Medvedev stuns Djokovic to continue dream Monte Carlo run|
|Guardiola: Referees can still make mistakes with VAR|
|Te´o to depart Worcester Warriors amid rumours of Top 14 move|
|Odriozola suffers broken collarbone|
|Sheffield United 2 Nottingham Forest 0: Duffy sends Blades second|
|I really felt for them – Klopp sympathises with Manchester City´s VAR heartbreak|
|Champions League exit no title race advantage for Man City, says Guardiola|
|Mitchell magic seals golden-point win for Roosters|
|Kante: Chelsea not favourites for Europa League|
|Adelaide United 1 Melbourne Victory 0: Blackwood header snatches victory|
|Klopp applauds ´role model´ Salah after making Time magazine cover|
|Fabregas suffers calf injury ahead of PSG clash|
|Ronaldo is the future of Juventus - Allegri defends star after Champions League exit|
|Simeone: Costa issue is resolved|
|Khan always believed big nights would return as Crawford looms into view|
|Liverpool and Manchester City are miles ahead of the rest - Warnock|
|Wilder: Joshua fight is inevitable|
|There´s no other player like him - Rivaldo tips Messi for Ballon d´Or|
|Malone urges Nuggets response to ´hungry´ White|
|Fosu-Mensah returns to Man United from Fulham for knee surgery|
|Solskjaer claims some Manchester United stars ´need a reality check´|
|Brown lauds exceptional Simmons after Sixers take series lead|
|Maitland-Niles buoyed by Emery´s belief in Arsenal stars|
|Durant showed who he is – Kerr|
|Giroud will stay at Chelsea, insists Sarri|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Dodgers hold off Brewers|
|76ers win without Embiid, Warriors bounce back in big way|
|Knicks confident they will appeal to stars|
|Capitals´ Reirden heated after hit on ´defenseless´ Oshie|
|Brady, Edelman react to Gronkowski denting the Lombardi Trophy|
|Koulibaly not drawn on future after Napoli loss|
|Ancelotti backs Napoli squad despite Europa League disappointment|
|Ajax in Champions League semis is ´crazy´, says Vertonghen|
|Pochettino reflects on ´bad feelings´ during dramatic win|
|Embiid to miss 76ers´ game three against Nets|
|Lowry leads RBC Heritage, Johnson makes good start|
|Benfica boss Lage bemused by touchline dismissal|
|Arsenal favourites for Europa League - Marcelino|
|Milner hoping for third time lucky at Barcelona|
|This Week in US Sports: Lightning handed historic loss, Red Sox massively hungover|
|Emery expects Ramsey to be out for ´some weeks´|
|NFL Draft 2019: Should Cardinals take Murray or stick with Rosen?|
|It´s a big problem – Sarri baffled by Chelsea´s second-half woes|
|Hazard knock ´nothing serious´, hopes Sarri|
|Drop in intensity caused Chelsea´s Europa League fright – Giroud|
18 de abril 2019
|Focused Crawford welcomes Sugar Ray Leonard comparisons|
|Giants GM Dave Gettleman shuts down Josh Rosen trade talk|
|Cas hold off Wakefield to win thrilling derby|
|Arsenal saw off Napoli with spirit - Koscielny|
|Napoli 0 Arsenal 1 (0-3 agg): Lacazette stunner sees Gunners coast through|
|Eintracht Frankfurt 2 Benfica 0 (4-4 agg): Hutter´s men through on away goals after controversial Ko|
|Chelsea 4 Slavia Prague 3 (5-3 agg): Sarri´s men reach semis despite alarming second half|
|Valencia 2 Villarreal 0 (5-1 agg): Lato and Parejo set up Arsenal semi-final clash|
|Sharapova comeback delayed after Stuttgart withdrawal|
|Arsenal hit the front despite Ramsey blow|
|Liverpool to match Barcelona´s ticket prices and subsidise supporters|