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Barcelona vs PSG: Things are getting hot!

We're still two weeks away from seeing Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germaingo at each other's throats on the pitch, but the war has already begun away from the grass.

With the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie fast approaching, swords have already been drawn and tempers are already flaring. Ronald Koeman has accused the French side of needlessly adding spice to the tie, as well as suggesting that they have behaved disrespectfully towards Barcelona.

PSG's invitation to Lionel Messi

It all starts with PSG's desire to sign Lionel Messi. Since his unhappiness at the Camp Nou became clear last summer, they've been interested in signing him.

Neymar was the first to publicly attempt to lure him to the Parc des Princes, and then it was Mauricio Pochettino's turn, saying that "players like Messi would always be on PSG's list" and that "it would be a pleasure to coach him".

In addition, Le Parisien reported that Pochettino made his compatriot his top priority on a list of transfer requests made to the club.

Leonardo also said that they're closely monitoring Messi's situation, but Angel Di Maria's comments on Wednesday were the final straw for Koeman, as he said "there's a big chance that Leo will come to PSG".

Barcelona, still without a president, were left to watch Koeman and candidate Joan Laporta accuse the French side of lacking respect.

A rivalry with a history

All of this is just the latest chapter in a long-standing rivalry. On the pitch, its most memorable moment came as Barcelona overturned a 4-0 first-leg loss to win 6-1 in one of the Champions League's most famous comebacks, led by Neymar at the Camp Nou.

In both clubs' offices, there has been bad blood since even before PSG signed Neymar, with Barcelona stirring things up by pursuing Marco Verratti for a long time before then.

With things getting interesting now, it is a real shame that the games will be played behind closed doors.

Source: Marca / Ramiro Aldunate - Conor Clancy

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