Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona is seemingly getting more and more uncertain.

Messi, who is contracted until 2021, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants after their capitulation in the Champions League and trophy-less 2019-20 season.

And the arrival of Ronald Koeman as coach has done little to ease the concerns.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI EXPRESSES DOUBT OVER BARCELONA FUTURE

Messi expressed doubts over his future at Barcelona in his first meeting with Koeman, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Marca reports the six-time Ballon d'Or winner sees himself more out than in at Barca.

According to Mundo Deportivo, however, Messi sees an exit as complicated with his €700million release clause.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and Koeman reportedly has his sights set on his first signing. The former Netherlands coach wants to sign Lyon star Memphis Depay, according to RAC1.

- The Jadon Sancho saga appears no closer to ending. The Telegraph reports the star's Borussia Dortmund team-mates are convinced he will stay at the Bundesliga club instead of moving to Manchester United.

- Kai Havertz's expected switch from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea seems to be going more smoothly. The Guardian says Chelsea are closing in on the star attacker with talks moving at an "encouraging pace".

- Juventus may be prepared to let Douglas Costa go. Tuttosport reports the Serie A champions are open to selling the attacker, who has previously been an apparent target for Manchester United. The report says Juve would be willing to sell Costa for just £17.9m (€20m). The Manchester Evening News, meanwhile, reports United have cooled their interest in a possible loan deal for Costa.

- Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been linked with a move. While Arsenal seemed ahead of Napoli in the race for the centre-back, Gianluca Di Marzio reports Manchester United are the latest club to make their move.

- Leeds United look set to get a boost ahead of the start of the Premier League season. The Sun says Marcelo Bielsa is finally set to sign a new deal with Leeds – at £8m per year until 2022.

Hansi Flick believes Serge Gnabry is close to becoming a world-class player after the attacker fired Bayern Munich into the Champions League final.

Gnabry scored a first-half brace before Robert Lewandowski's late sealer in Bayern's 3-0 win over Lyon in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The Germany international has netted 23 goals in 45 games this season and Bayern head coach Flick feels Gnabry is close to being among the world's best.

"The opening goal he scored was fantastic, how he finished it and how he manoeuvred himself into that position," Flick told a news conference.

"And if you look at his development not only at Bayern Munich but in the national team then you have to say he's really close to becoming a world-class player.

"He's very dynamic and very dangerous in front of goal and we are very happy that he scored a brace and that he is with us in our team.

"He has great qualities and I am convinced he hasn't reached his potential."

Lyon had their chances in the semi-final, squandering chances before Gnabry's double.

It raised some concerns for Bayern ahead of Sunday's final, when they will face Paris Saint-Germain's stars Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.

While Flick admitted Bayern must improve defensively, he believes Lyon's attack is just as good as PSG's.

"I don't agree that the attacking players of Lyon are any worse from those from PSG," he said.

"Memphis Depay is a world-class player. He was injured for a long time but played at the top level here. He can hurt any team.

"We lost too many balls we have to avoid in the final. We didn't defend as well as we have previously and they managed to get behind our defensive line. We will analyse this match but, at the moment, we are happy about reaching the final.

"We are happy about it but of course we have to recharge out batteries and be at 100 per cent and gather some energy for the final clash against PSG and be able to win the title."

Rudi Garcia is unsure what the future holds for his Lyon stars after their "unexpected" run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Lyon fell to Bayern Munich 3-0 in the semi-finals in Lisbon on Wednesday to end their European run.

But departures are expected at Lyon, who finished seventh in Ligue 1 and missed out on European competition for 2020-21, with Moussa Dembele, Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay linked with moves.

Lyon head coach Garcia said he was unsure what was ahead, but felt his players proved their quality in the Champions League.

"We don't know what's going to happen," he told a news conference.

"What is clear after the success we've had here, an unexpected one, is this team would have deserved to make it even further, but it's difficult to answer this question. We have a great squad and we'll see.

"In terms of finances, it's not up to me to answer, it's up to the club president and the sporting director, but when we look at the team, I didn't have to make it to the Champions League semi-finals to know how good my players are."

Lyon were left to rue wastefulness against Bayern, squandering several chances before a Serge Gnabry brace and Robert Lewandowski's late goal.

Garcia lamented his side's inability to take their opportunities against the Bundesliga champions.

"They were just efficient, clinical. You have to say the team who were more clinical won it," he said.

"We hit the post. If we'd scored at that point the match might have been very different, but I like how my players followed the game plan. We defended very well and Karl [Toko Ekambi] had that chance.

"We weren't fully attentive when we conceded the first goal. We could have played with more width at times and been faster in possession and played with that width. We managed to do a better job in the second half but when you're trailing Bayern Munich 2-0 it's difficult to come back.

"We played some good long balls, we attacked well at times and had some good spells. We gave them some problems and we had two more great chances with Moussa and Karl. We just had some bad luck and weren't clinical enough in those situations.

"But I feel Bayern are a great team and they deserved the victory. The way they played, we have to congratulate them. It's true we gave them some problems, but they scored that third goal and that finished off the match."

Serge Gnabry is eyeing Champions League glory and a treble of trophies this season after Bayern Munich defeated Lyon to reach Sunday's final.

Gnabry's first-half brace and a late Robert Lewandowski goal helped Bayern top Lyon 3-0 in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

Bundesliga champions and DFB-Pokal winners Bayern are on the cusp of their first treble in seven years as Paris Saint-Germain await in the decider.

"We really want to win the final. That will be the deciding factor, we will give our all to win the treble," Gnabry said.

"It would be the icing on the cake of a super season for us," the Germany international added to DAZN.

Bayern had to weather an early storm as Lyon dominated, the Ligue 1 side – who stunned Juventus and Manchester City en route to the semis – unfortunate not to take the lead after Karl Toko Ekambi hit the post.

Hansi Flick's Bayern made the most of Lyon's wastefulness, Gnabry's powerful strike breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute before doubling the lead 15 minutes later.

Lewandowski scored his 55th goal of the season two minutes from the end as he and Gnabry became the most prolific duo in Champions League history with 24 combined goals this season – eclipsing the record held by Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale (23).

"Lyon put a lot of pressure on us," said Gnabry as Bayern eye their first Champions League title since 2013, while the German giants will feature in the final for the 11th time.

"They were very aggressive, they didn't give us many chances early on and we had a bit of luck in the beginning before finding our feet.

"You can't defend against everything, but all in all we were very strong."

Kingsley Coman said his "heart is 100 per cent" with Bayern Munich ahead of facing boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final.

Coman came off the bench as Bayern recorded a 3-0 win over Lyon in the semi-finals in Lisbon on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old came through PSG's youth system and made four senior appearances for the club before joining Juventus and then Bayern.

Coman said he was entirely committed to Bayern despite the connection to PSG, who they face in Sunday's decider.

"It's a nice poster," he told RMC Sport.

"My heart is 100 per cent Bayern."

Lyon were left to rue missed chances against Bayern before Serge Gnabry scored a brace and Robert Lewandowski sealed the win.

A five-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern, Coman is eager to add the Champions League to his collection.

"It's a great moment, we really wanted to go to the final. Now you have to win it," he said.

"The work is not finished, we have to win it otherwise we will have done all this for nothing. 

"We knew it was going to be complicated, they played on their qualities, luckily they didn't score and we were efficient."

Rudi Garcia felt Lyon paid the price for not taking their chances against Bayern Munich, though he was still full of pride for his side's unlikely run to the Champions League semi-finals. 

The French side had knocked out Juventus and Manchester City to reach the last four in the competition and they had opportunities to go in front against Bayern on Wednesday, too.

Garcia knew Lyon could have success in behind a high defensive line, yet crucially both Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi failed to find the net when the game was still scoreless in the first half. 

Serge Gnabry then struck twice to put the Bundesliga champions in command and while their opponents battled hard after the break, Robert Lewandowski added a late third to confirm a showdown with Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

The final score flattered Hansi Flick's Bayern, according to Garcia.

"We can be proud of our run and our game, but yes, it is the disappointment that prevails," the former Roma and Marseille boss told RMC Sport. 

"We lacked success because we had to lead, but eventually we fell behind. We have this feeling of injustice that has weighed us down a bit.  

"At 2-0, it's complicated even if we didn't give up in the second half. We knew they were going to be very high up and that we had to use the spaces behind their full-backs, as was the case with the opportunities for Memphis and Karl.  

"What we didn't do well in the first half was to use the ball and move them sideways. We did it a lot better in second, but when you don't score, you can't qualify. 

"We believed in making this final and the match showed it. When we had the chances, we saw that Bayern Munich were not tight. The score does not reflect the match."

Garcia must now quickly switch his squad's focus to the new Ligue 1 season, with Lyon hosting Dijon in their opening fixture on August 28.

However they will not get to play European football again, having languished down in seventh in the table when the previous top-flight campaign was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

"You have to get back into the championship quickly and that's what I'm a little afraid of, because it happens very quickly," Garcia said.

"But we have to get back on track quickly because we only play the championship. We know that it will be different and that the game plan will be different.  

"We will have to master our matches from now on."

Lyon sporting director Juninho confirmed there will be departures following the club's Champions League semi-final loss, though he is not worried about the Ligue 1 outfit.

After stunning Juventus and Manchester City en route to the final four, Lyon's memorable 2019-20 European campaign came to an end after losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Lyon's early wastefulness was punished as Serge Gnabry's brace and a late goal from Robert Lewandowski guided Bundesliga champions Bayern through to Sunday's decider against Paris Saint-Germain.

While disappointed with the result, Juninho turned his attention to 2020-21 amid speculation over the futures of Moussa Dembele, Houssem Aouar and captain Memphis Depay.

Dembele has previously been linked to Chelsea and Manchester United, Aouar is reportedly a target for the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City, while Depay has emerged as a possible replacement for Jadon Sancho should he leave Borussia Dortmund.

"The aim now is to continue working, immediately with Ligue 1," Juninho, whose Lyon will not feature in the 2020-21 Champions League after finishing seventh at the time of Ligue 1 concluding due to the coronavirus pandemic, told RMC Sport. "There are no presents. We will have to work.

"If we continue like this, we will be back in this competition. When you are well paid, you need motivation every day, we are going to concentrate on Ligue 1. There are the basics.

"There will be departures, but I am not worried. When you have players who play very well in a competition like this, like Moussa and Houssem… We will have to show the same spirit to be back in the Champions League next season."

On the match itself, Juninho said: "We are all sad, it is not easy. But we are going out with our heads held high, I am proud of the players, the staff. We accept this. We respected our gameplan.

"You need a lot of luck and efficacy to beat a team like this. Maybe if we had scored one or two goals at the beginning of the match… I am proud of the squad, I thank the supporters for their incredible support, we felt a strong energy. I wish PSG good luck, that they show people that Ligue 1 is not what they think it is.

"We started well, with two or three chances, Karl [Toko Ekambi] hits the post. We had to at least score one. They caused us problems between the lines. The hardest thing was to play the ball out from the back. We saw that it did not work for RB Leipzig."

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick said his team must defend better in the Champions League final after earning a date with Paris Saint-Germain.

Bundesliga champions Bayern booked their spot in Sunday's showpiece with a 3-0 win over Lyon at Estadio Jose Alvalade on Wednesday.

Lyon – who stunned Juventus and Manchester City en route to the final four – made a lively start and Karl Toko Ekambi hit the post, but the French champions were made to pay for their wastefulness.

A first-half brace from Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski's 55th goal of the season two minutes from the end sealed the victory as Bayern stayed on course for a first treble in seven years.

"We knew it would be difficult, they came in off the back of great performances against City and Juventus," Flick told Sky after Bayern won their 10th consecutive Champions League game, equalling the longest streak in the competition's history.

"They are strong tactically and they caused us problems early on. We know we need to defend better, we said before we couldn't afford to give away the ball easily, but we did."

Thomas Tuchel's PSG, who will look to the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for inspiration, will feature in their maiden Champions League final after outclassing RB Leipzig 3-0 on Tuesday.

"Paris are a great team, they fought their way into the semi-final and then reached the final. We will analyse some things, we know they have quick players," added Flick, whose free-scoring Bayern have netted 42 goals in the competition this season – only the 1999-00 Barcelona (45) team have managed more in a single campaign.

"We will look to organise our defence, but we know our biggest strength is putting our opponents under pressure."

Robert Lewandowski's header to crown Bayern Munich's 3-0 Champions League semi-final victory over Lyon gave him a place in the competition's history alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was the Poland striker's 15th goal in this season's tournament, part of a remarkable haul of 55 across all competitions.

Ronaldo is the only other player to hit that number, although he has incredibly done so on three occasions – each time in successful campaigns for Real Madrid.

In 2013-14, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner struck an unmatched 17, while he scored 16 and 15 in 2015-16 and 2017-18 respectively.

Lewandowski has now scored in nine consecutive Champions League matches.

Only Ronaldo in 2018 (11) and fellow former Manchester United favourite Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003 (also nine) have netted in as many successive outings.

For 15 minutes or so the "farmers" were making hay at Estadio Jose Alvalade, granted plenty of open field to harvest by their well-heeled opponents.

As they did in their stunning 3-1 quarter-final victory over Manchester City, Lyon made a mockery of the derisory labels attached to Ligue 1 as they repeatedly scooted past Bayern Munich's high wire high line.

Pep Guardiola's uncharacteristic caution against Lyon has been rightly castigated, but how that game might have looked had City "just gone for it" was illustrated by an uncomfortable opening for Hansi Flick's in-form Bundesliga champions.

For all the enviable attacking gifts of Bayern's wide defenders Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies, it was Lyon's more unheralded wing-backs Leo Dubois and Maxwel Cornet roving into space.

Cornet might have added to his quarter-final goal after Memphis Depay should have opened the scoring. Karl Toko Ekambi then hit the post. Were we really heading for an all-French final on Sunday? Were we ready to confront the imminent butter mountain of farmers' league gags?

Handily for Bayern, Serge Gnabry answered both those questions with an emphatic "no" 60 seconds after Ekambi tested the base of Manuel Neuer's left post.

Paris Saint-Germain will contest their maiden Champions League final on Sunday, when Bayern go for their sixth title in Europe's top competition. When it comes to the crunch moments, such historical weight feels like it can propel a side when it has no logical right to do so.

Gnabry made a particularly literal contribution to this phenomenon in the 18th minute in Lisbon by turning into Arjen Robben – cutting in from the right wing, opposition shirts in scattered pursuit, and rifling home with his trusty left boot, just like Bayern's hero of 2013 and European title number five.

For his next impression, the Bavarians' brilliant winger opted for a current team-mate as opposed to a former one. Robert Lewandowski inexplicably failed to add to his vast goal haul when he slid in at point-blank range to meet the ball with his backside. Gnabry was on hand to smuggle home and disprove the impression that Thomas Muller has a monopoly on such goals for Bayern.

If only Flick's back four were doing a similarly passable impersonation of a solid defence. When Lyon's weekend hero Moussa Dembele came on for Depay in the 58th minute he quickly wrought havoc – launching a move that concluded with Ekambi wilting under the whites of Neuer's eyes.

On Sunday, those chances will be falling to Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar – even if the latter's finishing in the Portuguese capital has been no cause for celebration up until this point.

Benjamin Pavard might return if passed match fit, allowing Kimmich to revert to a central midfield role and give a little more protection to the heart of defence, where Niklas Sule replaced Jerome Boateng at half-time and proved an at times plodding companion to David Alaba.

Lyon's great favour to their compatriots here was showing Bayern are far from infallible. On the other hand, the men from Munich have now won 20 in a row and are unbeaten in all competitions since December 7. The parade of talent following Sule from the bench – Kingsley Coman, Philippe Coutinho, Corentin Tolisso and Pavard – was frankly ludicrous.

Having seen Lewandowski head his 55th – that's fifty-fifth – goal of the season to crown a 3-0 win, Flick might just to let his flying machine soar and let PSG deal with it. Unleash Kimmich and Davies, let Leon Goretzka and Thiago purr from midfield and care not a jot what goes on behind them.

Had Lyon taken their early chances, we might have had a repeat of July's Coupe de la Ligue final, which finished 0-0 before PSG won on penalties.

It is impossible to see anything similar unfolding at Estadio da Luz on Sunday, with the cream of Europe's 2020 crop giving every indication we are in for a classic.

Serge Gnabry was the hero as Bayern Munich defeated a game Lyon 3-0 to book their place in the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Five days on from the 8-2 obliteration of Barcelona, Bayern avoided an upset against a Lyon side who had shocked Manchester City to reach Wednesday's semi-final at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Germany winger Gnabry, a scorer in the Barca rout, was influential, smashing in a stunning 18th-minute opener following a lively Lyon start before adding a much easier second.

The prolific Robert Lewandowski added his 55th goal of an incredible season in the closing stages for the Bundesliga champions.

Lyon found some encouragement in the second half but there is little doubt Bayern deserve their spot in the showpiece on Sunday, when they will aim to complete a second treble in seven years.

Memphis Depay shot wide when attempting to round Manuel Neuer following a rare Thiago Alcantara error and Karl Toko Ekambi struck the post as Lyon threatened dangerously early on the break.

Leon Goretzka's scuffed effort had Anthony Lopes scrambling before Gnabry darted in from the right and fired an unstoppable effort into the top-left corner to open the scoring in sensational fashion.

Gnabry tested Lopes again with a stinging drive and doubled the lead by tapping in after Lewandowski uncharacteristically made a hash of Ivan Perisic's low centre.

Marcelo headed Lyon's first effort on target in the 56th minute, while Ekambi wastefully shot their second straight at Neuer one on one after being found in the area by Houssem Aouar.

Philippe Coutinho brilliantly controlled and finished Thomas Muller's pass, only to be flagged offside after a slight touch from Goretzka.

But Bayern did have a third when Joshua Kimmich's delivery was met by a thumping header from Lewandowski for his 15th Champions League goal of the campaign

What does it mean? PSG a daunting road block for brilliant Bayern

Hansi Flick has completely re-energised a Bayern side many had written off under Niko Kovac since assuming the reins, at first temporarily, in November.

Bayern now stand on the cusp of a famous treble and a sixth title in Europe's premier competition. A fired-up PSG will have something to say about that, though, in what promises to be a thrilling final.

Gnabry leads the way

There was a comical moment in a news conference post-Barca where Muller twice attempted a 'Lewan-goal-ski' gag that did not quite land.

Fortunately, on the pitch his team-mate Gnabry did find the intended target with a goal worthy of any Champions League semi-final. His second was all about being in the right place at the time, but all evening Gnabry's presence caused Lyon's defence problems.

Lyon pay for wasteful Ekambi

Pep Guardiola received criticism for his tactics in City's shock loss to Lyon but early doors that his conservatism was not entirely misplaced.

The difference on this occasion is Lyon missed two great chances prior to Gnabry's opener, which set Bayern to cruise control. Had they scored either of those then who knows? Ekambi was guilty on one of those occasions and again in the second half on a disappointing night.

What's next?

Bayern can now begin preparations for Sunday's final at the Estadio da Luz, where they face PSG searching to become champions of Europe for a sixth time. Lyon's gallant run is over and they must get ready for a new Ligue 1 campaign.

Lyon boss Rudi Garcia concedes Champions League semi-final opponents Bayern Munich are a team with few weak points but says no side is perfect.

Bayern crushed Barcelona 8-2 in Friday's quarter-final tie to make it nine wins in a row in this season's competition and 27 victories in their past 28 matches overall.

However, Lyon knocked out a much-fancied Manchester City side in the previous round, having already overcome Italian champions Juventus in the last 16, and Garcia insists his side have no fear.

"We cannot look at the stats, otherwise we will just stay and watch the game at the hotel," he said at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"We know who we are playing - they do not have many weak points. But like all the teams in the world, none of them are perfect.

"It is up to us to express what we are capable of. We are capable of doing anything with this team, even causing problems for Bayern.

"Yes we are an outsider, but we have already taken out some great teams."

Lyon stunned City 3-1 in Lisbon on Saturday through a couple of Moussa Dembele goals after Kevin De Bruyne had cancelled out Maxwel Cornet's opener.

And Garcia believes his side, who finished seventh in last season's shortened Ligue 1 campaign, will take great confidence from their performances up to this point.

"It's good to be in the semi-finals - it's already been a huge effort. The two qualifiers we have played should give us confidence if we need it.

"It is a real pleasure to see the Lyon players give everything for each other."

Garcia added: "If we looked at City's stats before the match, we could tell ourselves there is not a lot we could do. Bayern is the same.

"We know that we are arriving as outsiders, but we will have chances and must seize our opportunities."

Match-winner Dembele was a second-half substitute against City, with Karl Toko Ekambi preferred up top, but Garcia is not ruling out changes to his line-up on Wednesday.

"Everyone is physically fine," he said. "But we have discussed with the staff whether playing four days later would be problematic.

"It should be fine but we have the ability to change the team. If one or two are not ready then others can take over."

Serge Gnabry says winning the Champions League would be "the icing on the cake" for goal-hungry Bayern Munich this season.

They must beat Lyon in the semi-finals to earn a shot at the trophy on Sunday in Lisbon, and Gnabry believes Bayern are in the mood to go all the way.

The 8-2 destruction of Barcelona last Friday demonstrated Bayern's threat, and Gnabry says Bayern are eager to add to their domestic double.

"With winning it, you're the best team in Europe. That's what we want to be," the former Arsenal forward said.

"It's how we want to end a season that has been fantastic for us. It would be the icing on the cake for us to be the best team in Europe.

"It's a great challenge and that's what we want to achieve."

Gnabry has hit seven goals in the competition for Bayern this season, including four in the stunning 7-2 win at Tottenham back in October.

In the Bundesliga, they plundered 100 goals in the 34-game season.

Germany international Gnabry says Bayern's players are talking each day about the opportunity that lies ahead of them, with the 'bubble' in Lisbon allowing the group to strengthen their bond.

"It's a lot of fun to be together. The spirit within the team and the relationship between the players, it's really good," Gnabry said.

There is an understandable wariness about Lyon though, given their unexpected run to the last four, and the sense from outside the Bayern camp that the French underdogs could spring a surprise by going all the way.

"We know they've beaten Juventus and they've beaten Manchester City, where both of those teams were the favourites," Gnabry said.

"It looks like we are the favourites now, so we have to be careful not to let them beat us.

"We know they are very strong on the counter-attacks and they are good defensively. We have to be on the front foot from the first minute and try to play a good game."

Hansi Flick has warned his Bayern Munich stars the eight-goal demolition of Barcelona will count for nothing when they tackle an "exceptional" Lyon in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final.

The Bayern head coach saw his team pick apart Camp Nou giants Barca on Friday to reach the final four, with that result causing seismic shock in Spain.

It was a performance which made Bayern strong favourites to lift the trophy for many observers, but Lyon were also highly impressive in battling past Manchester City 24 hours later.

Flick is determined to keep a lid on excitement in his squad, fully aware that a Lyon side who have sunk the hopes of City and Juventus in the last fortnight will not fear Bayern.

He says it will take a showing of the intensity Bayern showed against Barcelona to secure a place in Sunday's final.

"We are aware of the quality Lyon have," Flick said in a news conference. "They defend well, they're very compact with a lot of players behind the ball.

"They run a lot but they also have a lot of quality in attack. So it's important for us to do the right things on the pitch.

"We want to make it into the final, that’s our objective and that's why we have to eliminate Lyon, being aware it will be no walk in the park.

"They eliminated Manchester City and Juventus - two teams who were among the favourites before this tournament started.

"Rudi Garcia and his team are very good tactically, in defence and in attack. They're exceptional and we have to be well prepared.

"I can say we have solutions ready and we hope we can implement them tomorrow in the match."

Flick will be hoping his team can find similar penetration at the Estadio Jose Alvalade to that they showed in slicing through Barcelona time after time.

"They have great objectives but we all know it's one match and we start at 0-0," Flick said.

"We must play at the same intensity we had against same Barcelona. We need the same drive and must keep the intensity high.

"I'm confident in what my team is capable of doing."

He dismissed the possibility of a fit-again Benjamin Pavard returning to his starting XI.

Pavard, a World Cup winner with France two years ago, has returned to training after a foot injury but the best the defender can hope for is a place on the bench against his countrymen.

This strangest of seasons has yielded a Champions League semi-final line-up of a kind not seen since 1991.

RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Bayern Munich will compete for a spot in the final. Two from France, two from Germany, with the prospect of a one-nation showdown for the trophy.

This is the first time in 29 years that no teams from England, Spain or Italy have reached this stage of the competition, which at that time was still called the European Cup.

The world looked very different back then, for our four semi-finalists and beyond...

RB LEIPZIG

They didn't exist in 1991. In fact, they wouldn't for another 18 years.

The club's owners, Red Bull, had only existed as a business for seven years and the drink that made the brand globally famous was only four years old - the same age as present Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

SSV Markranstadt, the team Red Bull purchased before transforming them into the RB Leipzig franchise, were down in the Landesliga Sachsen, the sixth tier in Germany.

 

PSG

It's hard now to think of PSG, winners of seven of the past eight Ligue 1 titles, as anything other than dominant in France.

Back in 1991, some 20 years before the QSI ownership, they finished ninth in France's top flight, 17 points behind champions and bitter rivals Marseille. They won no trophies and were not involved in Europe.

Head coach Henri Michel was in charge until July, when he was replaced by Artur Jorge, who delivered their second top-flight title in 1994. Present boss Thomas Tuchel was learning his craft in the youth teams of Augsburg.

 

BAYERN MUNICH

Bayern were one of the four semi-finalists in 1991, but it didn't end well: they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Red Star Belgrade after captain Klaus Augenthaler scored a 90th-minute own goal in the second leg.

Domestically, Bayern lost out on the Bundesliga title, finishing second to Kaiserslautern. To compound a disappointing season, they also suffered a first-round exit in the DFB-Pokal for the first time in their history.

Their head coach, Jupp Heynckes, was of course the man who steered them to their most recent European triumph in 2012-13, when they beat Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley to secure the treble. As for current boss Hansi Flick, he was in his first season playing for Cologne.

 

LYON

Lyon had a better domestic season than PSG, finishing fifth in the table under Raymond Domenech to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

It was just four years into the tenure of ambitious young owner Jean-Michel Aulas, who had vowed to rid the club of debt and restore them to a place of prominence in the top flight.

Rudi Garcia, who masterminded that 3-1 win over City this year, was playing his final season with Caen.

 

ELSEWHERE IN FOOTBALL...

Red Star won the European Cup final, beating Marseille on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Bari.

Arsenal were crowned champions of England, an Alan Smith hat-trick against Manchester United securing the title in May.

Napoli and Argentina great Diego Maradona was serving a 15-month ban for failing a cocaine test.

Sampdoria were Serie A champions. It was their first and only top-flight title.

In January, Eden Hazard was born.

USA win the first Women's World Cup, beating Norway in the final.

Ryan Giggs made his Manchester United debut in March. Twenty-three years later, he retired as their most decorated player.

 

AND THE WIDER WORLD...

Boris Yeltsin was elected Russia's first popularly-elected president. The Soviet Union officially ceased to exist.

The internet was made available to unrestricted commercial use. An intriguing tool, the web browser, was introduced.

Nirvana released their second studio album, Nevermind. It has sold more than 30million copies.

Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's world long jump record with a leap of 8.95 metres. The record still stands.

Monica Seles won three of four grand slam singles titles to take the world number one spot from Steffi Graf.

Australia won the Rugby World Cup, beating England 12-6 at Twickenham in the final.

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