Lionel Messi insists Barcelona are wary of Real Madrid biting back ahead of El Clasico

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Rayo Vallecano
Image: Lionel Messi insists Barcelona are staying grounded despite their fine form

Lionel Messi insists Barcelona are staying cautious ahead of the Clasico against Real Madrid on Sunday.

Barcelona progressed to the quarter-final of the Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate win over Manchester City on Wednesday, and could go four points clear of Real Madrid with a Clasico win on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF reacts
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo has struggled with performances since Christmas

But Messi, who has scored 20 goals in 18 games since the turn of the year, says the club are not getting carried away.

"We are playing well but we cannot get carried away because there is a long way to go," Messi said.

"We have some big games... first against Madrid and then there are the quarter-finals (of the Champions League) where we will face another tough team."

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Real Madrid looked in fine form before the Spanish winter break, but have struggled for consistent form since.
Nevertheless, Messi admits they are facing a wounded animal at the Nou Camp on Sunday evening.

"I have a lot of respect for Madrid," Messi added. "When Madrid are in this situation it is when they are most dangerous."

"They have great players. We will go out to play our football and look to win but at the same time we need to be wary of them as much as ever." 

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