FIFA LEAGUES/CUPS

Chris Smalling’s defiant message ahead of facing off against Lionel Messi


Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has this evening revealed his excitement at the prospect of testing his talents versus Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi tomorrow night.

Man United vs Barcelona

United are set to welcome Barca to Old Trafford, for the first-leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie between the clubs.

The Red Devils secured their place in the competition’s final-8 courtesy of a historic 2nd-leg turnaround versus French champions PSG last month.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have since gone on to fall to 3 defeats from their last 4 outings across all competitions, the latest of which saw United put to the sword by Wolves last Tuesday night.

Barcelona, on the other hand, have not tasted defeat since a Copa Del Rey clash with Sevilla back in January.

The Blaugrana’s latest victory, on Saturday versus Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, essentially secured the La Liga title for Ernesto Valverde’s men, with Barca now sitting 11 points clear at the top of the Spanish top-flight, with 7 games to play.

Messi on fire

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi was once again at the heart of proceedings for the Catalan giants versus Atletico, with the Argentine maestro having added his side’s 2nd of the night in typically-ingenious fashion, taking his La Liga tally for the season to 33 goals:

‘Bring it on’

Messi is currently playing some of the finest football of his illustrious career, with Manchester United no doubt set to have their work cut out to keep the 31-year-old even remotely quiet over the course of their 180-minute tie with Barca.

One of the Red Devils’ stars who does not appear overly-concerned regarding the prospect of facing off against world football’s most in-form player, though, is Chris Smalling.

When questioned on the challenge of stopping Messi tomorrow night during a press conference earlier today, the English stopper was defiant with his response:

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