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Lucescu wishes Shakhtar had Barcelona's Messi

Published: Wednesday 13 April 2011, 0.06CET
Mircea Lucescu was left to rue FC Shakhtar Donetsk's lack of application after bowing out against FC Barcelona, concluding that if Lionel Messi wore orange his side would have won.

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Published: Wednesday 13 April 2011, 0.06CET

Lucescu wishes Shakhtar had Barcelona's Messi

Mircea Lucescu was left to rue FC Shakhtar Donetsk's lack of application after bowing out against FC Barcelona, concluding that if Lionel Messi wore orange his side would have won.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu was left thinking what might have been had his side had the one thing missing from their UEFA Champions League quarter-final performances against FC Barcelona: Lionel Messi. Sadly for the Ukrainian outfit he does not and instead the Argentinian's club record 48th goal of the season sealed a 6-1 aggregate triumph for the Catalan giants, whose coach Josep Guardiola is beginning to size up a possible treble.

Our main shortcoming was our lack of Lionel Messi. If he played for us, I'm sure we would have beaten Barcelona
Mircea Lucescu
The players at my disposal are fantastic and it's a privilege [to coach them] in the Champions League semi-finals for the third season running
Josep Guardiola

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
First of all I want to congratulate Barcelona on qualifying for the semi-finals and wish them good luck – if they win the Champions League it will be easier to explain our defeat. We made far too many mistakes at the Camp Nou and the tie was lost there.

Tonight we fought for our honour, hoping for a performance we could be proud of. And the game was spectacular, worthy of a Champions League quarter-final. In spite of our injury problems we created many opportunities. Shakhtar forced Barcelona to defend – I don't think many can claim that.

This season we did very well in the Champions League, reaching new heights. I think we gave our supporters a few happy memories. The experience gathered in the two matches with Barcelona will help us move on, and we will enter next season in Europe better prepared for top-class ties.

We had five scoring chances tonight, and we should have finished our attacks better in Spain. Our main shortcoming was our lack of Lionel Messi. If he played for us, I'm sure we would have beaten Barcelona. That said, Guardiola's side have no flaws. They can do everything and are perfectly aware how to force opponents into making mistakes

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
It took us a while to get going but once we did we dominated proceedings. We knew it was going to be tough, that we would have to repel them in the early stages. They began to lose heart a little when they saw that the situation was becoming impossible.

The players at my disposal are fantastic and it's a privilege [to coach them] in the Champions League semi-finals for the third season running. These players have won trophies at Barcelona and with the national team but they just go on and on.

On Saturday we want to win [against Real Madrid] because it would mean an enormous step forward for us but I don't know if that's going to happen for certain as we are facing very strong rivals. I feel that we have done our homework this term and whatever comes our way from here on in we will treat as a gift.

Last updated: 27/11/12 11.19CET

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