Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his Manchester United players not to focus solely on the formidable threat posed by Lionel Messi when Barcelona visit Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The Argentinian superstar has once again been in imperious form this season, scoring 43 goals in 40 games across all competitions.
Messi is undoubtedly Barca’s most potent weapon but Solskjaer wants his side to be aware that LaLiga’s leaders have match-winners all over the pitch.
Speaking at his media conference ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg, Solskjaer said: “He’s a fantastic player and he will go down in history as one of the best individual players ever.
“He will be difficult to stop but it is never impossible. It’s not like it’s Messi against Manchester United – it’s [Luis] Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Ivan] Rakitic and [Arturo] Vidal.
“There’s so many good players, we cannot just focus on one player. We know we have to play against 11 of them.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 9, 2019
“This season we’ve played against Juventus and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Paris Saint-Germain with [Kylian] Mbappe, Chelsea and [Eden] Hazard.
“Suarez, Coutinho and Messi will keep our defenders on their toes, so let’s see how we manage.”
Chris Smalling is likely to be tasked with stopping Messi and the United defender is licking his lips at the prospect of facing the 31-year-old.
“It’s something to relish, I think,” he said.
“This season I’ve been lucky enough to face Ronaldo and Mbappe and they’re challenges that I think I definitely relish and I think players at this club relish. I say bring it on.”
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