Watch the video of Lionel Messi’s highlights from the last time he played at Old Trafford more than a decade ago.
When Lionel Messi played Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Argentine International was tipped to be the next monster in football. Back in 2008, the Barcelona forward was without any Ballon d’Or at that time – ran United ragged, giving world football a glimpse of what is to come in the forthcoming years.
It was Messi’s display people have forgotten mainly because of Paul Scholes’ fabulous strike which separated the scoreline between these two sides in the Champions League Semifinals. That goal from the English International enabled the Red Devils to eventually beat Chelsea in the finals to lift the trophy at Moscow.
But, we would remind you about the performance of the current Barcelona skipper at Old Trafford more than a decade ago.
LIONEL MESSI’S PERFORMANCE VS MANCHESTER UNITED IN 2008:
Watch the full video of Messi’s phenomenal performance against Manchester United.
The last time Messi played at Old Trafford. Had the likes of Scholes, Ronaldo on strings for 90 mins pic.twitter.com/tPuyPcBdHa
— ~ (@MessiZ0NE) March 15, 2019
It was a fabulous performance which has been forgotten so easily. Messi was worthy of a shout for the man of the match award.
Years later, Paul Scholes admitted that he wanted to maintain a certain distance from Lionel Messi to see this tie through.
“I am not ashamed to admit that in the games against Barcelona I spent a lot of the time just hoping he would take up positions as far away from me as possible.” he said.
“Elusive is the word that immediately springs to mind when I think about Messi’s style of play. You think you have an eye on him and then – blink – he has gone, only to reappear somewhere else in space, with the ball.
“When you try to face up to him and make a tackle you know what it is he is going to do with the ball. The problem is staying with him.’
To make things worse for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United, Lionel Messi is the top scorer in the top five European leagues this campaign. The Argentine International has contributed 54 goals to his club this term which is 18 more than Cristiano Ronaldo has mustered this season.
Combined goals and assists so far this season:
Lionel Messi: 54
Cristiano Ronaldo: 36
Raheem Sterling: 35
Karim Benzema: 30
Mo Salah: 28
Antoine Griezmann: 26
We’re blessed. pic.twitter.com/008CSDxHWL
— LV BET_EN (@LVbet_com) March 13, 2019
The Argentine International scored two and set up two against Lyon in the Champions League Round of 16 to steer his side to the last eight. After the game, Lyon manager Bruno Genesio and Skipper Nabil Fekir pointed that it was impossible to stop him during the game at Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
“A lot of things depended on him and when he plays like that he’s unstoppable,”
“When he’s motivated he’s a genius. He’s one of the best of all time. Like Cristiano Ronaldo did yesterday [Tuesday], he has led his team to victory.” said Genesio.
“We played a good game but history’s best player made it impossible for us. When he’s not scoring he’s assisting. When he’s not assisting he’s play-making. It was impossible. He is impossible.” added Fekir.
✅ Man. Of. The. Match. pic.twitter.com/Pj9DVkDPSm
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 13, 2019
Manchester United entered the Quarterfinals of the competition by beating Paris Saint Germain in a controversial fashion. Marcus Rashford scored a penalty in the stoppage time to take his side to the last eight. The Red Devils beat Thomas Tuchel’s side 3-1 at Parc Des Princes last week.
Lionel Messi will head back to Old Trafford on April 10th before facing them at Nou Camp on April 16th. Should Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Quarterfinals, they will face Liverpool or Porto in the last four of the competition. The same equation applies for the Red Devils too.
And now the @ChampionsLeague quarter finals kickoff times:
🗓 Wednesday, April 10
📍 Old Trafford
🗓 Tuesday, April 16
📍 Camp Nou
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 15, 2019
Barcelona’s number 10 ran over Manchester United’s defense when they beat them in the Champions League finals at Wembley and Roma twice in three years. There is no doubt that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will enter this game with a proper plan to stop Lionel Messi.
The Blaugrana have struggled when their captain fails to find their feet. It has been evidential this campaign. Perhaps, they will try to do exactly the same, but they have almost an impossible job in their hands.