Chris Smalling says 'bring it on' as he wishes to face Messi

Chris Smalling says 'bring it on' as he wishes to face Messi

- Chris Smalling has insisted that Man United match against Barcelona is not all about Messi

- The European heavyweights are set to clash in the Champions League first leg quarter final

- Smalling added that Man United have faced other top European sides who have the best players

Chris Smalling has insisted that Manchester United are confident going into their Champions League quarterfinal tie with prospect of facing Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Barcelona will be looking to reach the semi-final for the first time since the 2014-15 season when they went on the win the competition.

Messi has managed 43 goals and 21 assists in all competitions and is playing one of his finest football in his illustrious career.

READ ALSO: Man United vs Barcelona: Preview, head-to-head, possible line ups, date, time, venue

The Argentine captain scored an exquisite goal in Barca's 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid as they moved 11 points clear in La Liga, and they have not lost a tie in Europe, winning five games and drawing three.

But despite Messi's form this campaign, United defender Smalling said "bring it on" ahead of their titanic clash with the Catalans.

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"It's something to relish I think," said the United centre-back.

"This season, we have been lucky enough to face [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Kylian] Mbappe and they are all challenges that I definitely relish and I think players at this club relish.

"I say bring it on."

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer echoed Smalling's sentiment, saying: "What kind of plan can you have to stop one of the best players in the world?

"As Chris says, we are looking forward to it, we relish the opportunity but this season, we have played against Juventus with Ronaldo, PSG with Mbappe, we've had Chelsea and [Eden] Hazard.

"[Messi] is a fantastic player. And he will go down in history as one of the best individual players ever. I have to say - he will be difficult to stop but it's never impossible.

"It's not like it is Messi against Manchester United. [Luis] Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Arturo] Vidal, there are so many players we cannot just focus on one player. We know we have to play against 11 of them."

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Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez have handed Man United massive injury boost ahead of their Champions League quarter-final the first leg tie on Wednesday, April 10.

According to Mirror report, Marcus Rashford, who was missing in action in United's defeat by Wolves last week along with England’s game last month joined Tuesday’s session at Carrington. ( -> We have updated to serve you better.

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