Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at his plan for managing the impossible tomorrow night – keeping Lionel Messi quiet.
Solskjaer’s side welcome Barcelona to Old Trafford for Wednesday evening’s Champions League quarter-final first leg clash, and, as ever, Messi will be seen as the man to watch.
The Argentina international is well known for being probably the best footballer on the planet, as well as perhaps the greatest of all time, in the eyes of many.
Messi has done a great deal of damage to English clubs in the past and could do so again in Manchester this week, but Solskjaer does not believe there needs to be too much focus on one player.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Norwegian tactician suggested the best way of keeping Messi quiet is to have a good game against the whole Barcelona team.
‘What kind of plan can you have to stop one of the best players in the world?’ the 46-year-old is quoted by the Metro.
‘But we’ve played against Juventus and (Cristiano) Ronaldo, PSG and (Kylian) Mbappe, Chelsea and (Eden) Hazard (in the FA Cup).
‘He’s a fantastic player and will go down in history as one of the best individual players ever. He will be difficult to stop, but it’s never impossible. It’s not like it’s Messi against Manchester United.
‘We cannot just focus on one player, we have to focus on all eleven of them.’
While it makes sense that Solskjaer may want to play down the Messi factor so as to help his players with their own nerves about facing him, there is also some truth to what he’s saying.
At their best, Man Utd have played some fine football under Solskjaer, and can limit the damage Messi can do if they get on the ball themselves and take the game to Barca, 11 vs 11.