Dynamo Kiev boss Mircea Lucescu does not believe that Barcelona are at the level to win this season’s Champions League ahead of their encounter on Wednesday.
The 75-year-old is one of the most decorated and longest-serving managers in European football, having built up a top-level coaching career spanning four decades.
Counting Inter, Galatasaray, Besiktas, Shakhtar Donestk and Zenit Saint Petersburg among his former clubs, the Romanian took the reins at Dynamo Kiev this year following a stint in charge of the Turkish national team.
Lucescu has now claimed that he does not believe this Blaugrana team are at the level to win this season’s competition – a tournament which they have not reached the final of since their 2015 triumph.
Lucescu told his pre-match press conference: “I don’t think Barcelona has the level now to win the Champions League.
“Bayern Munich, Manchester City or PSG have more options. However, they have a footballer like Leo Messi, who can be very important.
“A new coach (Ronald Koeman) needs minimal six months and in spring they will be another team.
“Barcelona are a team that is better off playing the Champions League than in La Liga, because in the domestic competition the rest of the rivals know them very well.”
Nine positive Covid-19 tests from earlier this week meant that Dynamo have named a travelling party of just 13 players from their ‘A squad’ list and one more absentee would mean that the clash at the Camp Nou would need have been postponed.
Dynamo Kiev have confirmed that Georgy Tsitaishvili, Denis Garmash, Mikkel Duelund, Alexander Karavaev, Tudor Belutse and Mykola Shaparenko have all tested positive this week, while Buschan, Mykolenko and Boyko were all already in quarantine following previous tests.
When asked if the game should have been postponed, the boss said: “As coach I would have liked the match to have been played at another time, but we must accept it. It would have been better to give a positive and play another day!”