Champions League News: 'We can't keep Messi quiet, but Barcelona aren't as good as they were', says Manchester United legend
What's the story?
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes that while it will be near impossible for his former club to contain Argentine ace Lionel Messi, Barcelona can be defeated as they are no longer as good as they used to be.
In case you didn't know...
Barcelona will arrive at Old Trafford as heavy favourites as they go head-to-head with Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final fixture this week.
The Spanish giants boast of a star-studded team with an in-form Messi and Luis Suarez ready to wreak havoc on the United defence.
Messi boasts of having scored an incredible 43 goals in all competitions for the Catalan giants this season, out of which 33 were netted in La Liga. Meanwhile, Suarez has 20 league goals to his name thereby taking their combined league tally to 53.
Despite United's mammoth task, many believe they should not be written off because they did, after all, overcome a two-goal deficit against Paris Saint-Germain to progress to the quarter-finals.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Premier League Productions (via Goal), Scholes said:
"I don’t think Barcelona are as good as they were. When we went into it, we knew if we got 25 per cent possession we’d be happy."
"It was all about concentration. So many quality players, Messi, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta of that era. I don’t think they have that many players as good as them but still they’ve got some real quality."
Despite conceding that stopping Messi is a mammoth task, the former Red Devils midfielder believes that United's underdog status could help them in the fixture.
"Can you keep Messi quiet? Not sure you can. Suarez as well."
“I think that’s gone. If we were looking at that then Barca would have the advantage from what’s happened in the past. I don’t think many people expect United to go through this tie so that could help them a bit."
"They’ve got some quality, United, some really good forward players. It’s just at the other end, can they stop them scoring goals? Especially at Old Trafford."
The first leg of the quarter-final clash will take place on April 10.