Vincenzo Montella described Lionel Messi as an "alien" but is confident his Sevilla side can bring Barcelona back down to earth in Saturday's Copa del Rey final.
Already on the brink of securing the LaLiga title, Barcelona are firm favourites to wrap up the first leg of a domestic double at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
Yet Ernesto Valverde's side were given a fright against Sevilla when the sides met in league action last month, with Messi coming off the bench to inspire a dramatic comeback in a 2-2 draw.
Montella has warned his Sevilla players they cannot allow the talismanic forward to shine again this weekend if the underdogs are to cause an upset in the Spanish capital.
"Barcelona are a great team, as we have seen in LaLiga," the former AC Milan coach told a media conference.
"They have almost won it, so they are favourites but we have to think about ourselves and our attitude and quality and skills. We have to think how to face Barcelona that way.
"I also think that Messi is an alien. I hope he will be that high tomorrow instead of on the Earth. We have to try to avoid him receiving the ball.
"We've seen that it is possible to win against Barcelona, but for this to happen we have to be focused throughout the whole game and not lose concentration at any moment.
"I'm hoping for a balanced game, one that will be decided by smaller details, keeping us in the running."
PRESS CONFERENCE l @VMontella : "It's possible for us to win against @FCBarcelona , we just need to stay focussed"— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) April 20, 2018
https://t.co/Crp9I7viUI #FinalCopa #AllTogetherToAnotherFinal pic.twitter.com/5KMF1SXvvN
Sevilla know what it takes to cause an upset in a cup competition - they knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League earlier this season thanks to a famous 2-1 triumph at Old Trafford.
The experience of overcoming the odds in Europe, coupled with their performance against Barcelona in the league, gives the squad added confidence they can spring a surprise, according to captain Sergio Escudero.
"We've been doing a good job and we come with the mentality of believing we can win in the final," Escudero said at Friday's pre-match media conference.
"Everyone makes Barcelona favourites but we've already shown we can do them a lot of damage. When the team is together and united we can beat anyone."
|Grujic agrees Liverpool extension, joins Hertha on loan|
|Martial starts as Lukaku, Young return for Manchester United|
|Fury-Wilder to be staged in November or December - Warren|
|Manchester City 6 Huddersfield Town 1: Aguero hits hat-trick as champions triumph|
|Burnley 1 Watford 3: Hornets end away day woes as Deeney leads destructive display|
|McFarland cleared to leave Scotland and join Ulster|
|Simeone wants ´only the best´ for Filipe Luis amid PSG links|
|PSG signing Boateng rated ´50-50´ by Bayern president|
|Cipriani a positive influence, insists Gloucester head coach|
|Bayer Leverkusen´s Bailey signs contract extension|
|Jesus and Aguero start for City as Mahrez misses out|
|Federer unsure what to expect from Djokovic duel|
|Chievo goalkeeper suffers broken nose, whiplash in Ronaldo collision|
|Simmons lauds influence of ´big brother´ LeBron|
|PSG´s Cavani selected by Uruguay as Coito fills in for Tabarez|
|Starc leads tributes after ´leader of the pack´ Johnson retires|
|Hazard confirms he is staying at Chelsea this month|
|Liverpool´s Firmino dreaming of Premier League title glory|
|Raiders rock the Roosters as NRL´s top-four battle hots up|
|Erasmus demands improved Springboks|
|Athletics pull even with Astros in AL West|
|Mercurial quick Johnson retires from cricket|
|MLS Review: Royer leaves it late for Red Bulls, Dallas bounce back|
|Crotty concussed, Folau injured|
|DFB president Grindel sorry Ozil felt ´deserted´|
|Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|NASCAR results at Bristol: Kurt Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|Woakes welcomes back ´big-game player´ Stokes|
|´Genius´ Messi still amazes Valverde|
|All Blacks, Springboks await Namibia at Rugby World Cup|
|Federer to face Djokovic after Goffin withdraws|
|Rain halts plays at Wyndham Championship|
|De Gea will extend contract soon, says Mourinho|
|Halep to meet Bertens in Cincinnati final|
|Frampton set for Warrington fight after dominant Windsor Park win|
|Messi makes LaLiga history with Barcelona´s 6000th goal|
|MC Alger defeat throws quarter-final chase wide open|
|Barcelona 3 Deportivo Alaves 0: Messi´s milestone goal sets up victory|
|Djokovic on course for Masters 1000 history after Cilic victory|
|It´s on! - Wilder fight confirmed after Fury defeats Pianeta|
|Like Cruyff before him, Guardiola favouring Foden´s style over substance|
|Ronaldo tweets debut delight after Juve win|
|Chelsea are not title contenders yet, claims Sarri|
|Bayern Munich boss Kovac planning for Boateng stay|
|Championship Review: West Brom crush QPR as Leeds stay perfect|
|Allegri pleased with Ronaldo despite goalless Juventus debut|
|Chelsea can produce magic with Sarri in charge - Hazard|
|Emery ´happy without the result´ as Arsenal comeback falls short|
|Gordon confirms Cleveland Browns return|
|Eight shots and only 30 passes - Ronaldo´s Juventus debut in Opta numbers|
|Cristiano Ronaldo´s debuts: Best impressed, scoring a penalty & a blank for Juventus|
|Old boy Escare haunts Catalans in big Wigan win|
|Preston North End 2 Stoke City 2: Super sub Crouch salvages a point|
|Pochettino vows not to discuss Alderweireld future before five-minute answer|
|Waring, Aiken lead the way as Olesen stays in the hunt|
|Linking play, forcing saves and clashing with goalkeeper - Cristiano Ronaldo´s Juventus debut|
|Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2: Alonso snatches win after Gunners comeback|
|West Ham still haunted by last season - Pellegrini|
|Puel defends Vardy after Wolves red card|
|Chievo 2 Juventus 3: Ronaldo´s debut ends in dramatic win|
|Mbappe: Neymar is Paris Saint-Germain´s superstar|
|Pickford should have seen red - Hughes fumes over challenge on Ings|
|Kohli and Rahane star as India edge day one|
|AC Milan´s Strinic sidelined by heart problem|
|Kane happy to banish August goal hoodoo|
|Guingamp 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Mbappe returns to inspire comeback|
|Springboks´ second-half revival punishes Pumas|
|Finally! Kane scores a Premier League goal in August|
|Warnock enjoyed ´poetic justice´ of Kenedy´s penalty woe|
|Holders Eintracht Frankfurt stunned by Ulm in DFB-Pokal|