Rakitic says Barca and Messi must learn from their Champions League blows to get past Liverpool

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IVAN RAKITIC claims Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team must learn from three successive Champions League blows.

Superstar Messi has won the competition four times with Barca but this is the club's first semi-final appearance since 2015 when they went on to beat Juventus in the final.

Rakitic says Barca and Messi must learn from their Champions League blows to get past LiverpoolPA:Press Association2 Ivan Rakitic says Barcelona must be at their best to see off Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals

Since then, Barca have been bundled out at the quarter-finals by Atletico Madrid, Juve and Roma.

Croatian midfielder Rakitic, whose team clinched the La Liga title on Saturday, said: "How many Champions League titles does Leo have?

"He has won four Champions League so will not get too nervous.

"We want to be in Madrid for the final but in the last few years the Champions League has not been the best for us so we have to learn from that.

"We know it will be complicated against Liverpool but we will try to win and make the perfect season a reality.

"We are Barca and have to go-all out and being able to follow the best player in history gives us a lot of confidence.

"We have to get ready for the game. We have to be 100 per cent to beat Liverpool."

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Rakitic is also expecting top performances from former Liverpool stars Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

He said: “Both Luis and Philippe have played spectacular seasons at Liverpool and I am sure they are grateful and I understand it will be a special game for them and I hope we can enjoy having two of the best players in the world with us.

"It is always import to win and ideally, we score five and they do not get one.

"We must not lose our heads. We need to be tight at the back and try to keep a clean sheet.”

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde expects an energy-sapping massive battle against Liverpool.

He said: "They are playing for the League against City and we have just won our League.

"Both teams’ trajectory is different but we have to play against them and they are a powerful team with extraordinary forwards with a level of pressure, rhythm and pace which is very strong.

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"They have only lost once in the Premier League which says a lot.

"We play at home so we intend to win the game.

"We know how valuable it is if we don’t score. In these type of ties, you don’t need to win one good game, you need to play two good games."

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