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Fans troll Chris Smalling on Twitter ahead of his showdown against Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal

10.03K   //    15 Mar 2019, 23:13 IST

Chris Smalling will come up against Lionel Messi in the Champions League
Chris Smalling will come up against Lionel Messi in the Champions League

Chris Smalling has begun trending on social media ahead of Manchester United’s quarterfinal clash with Barcelona in the Champions League. The Red Devils were paired against the Spanish giants following Friday’s draw.

Clearly, the game between the two sides is the biggest among the quarterfinal pairings. Favourites Juventus will come up against Ajax, Liverpool will face Porto, while Manchester City will take on Tottenham Hotspur.

However, even before the quarterfinal games begin, football fans have been buzzing with comments on social media. First, there was the debate over which club is the favourite to win this year’s Champions League, then it later turned to the perennial Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate.

But currently, the most trending footballer is Chris Smalling. The England international will be in action when Man United lock horns with Barcelona in the two-legged knockout tie. Having cemented his place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, the 29-year-old will now be tasked to prevent Messi and Co. from scoring against the Red Devils.

Whiles the game is still a long way to go, some fans have rather decided to pick on Smalling even before a ball is kicked. Many of these fans seem to think that the Red Devils defender will have a torrid time facing Messi.

The Argentine superstar has been in imperious form this season, having been involved in more than 30 goals in all competitions. Messi is also currently the top scorer in the Champions League – he has eight goals together with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

The 31-year-old is also leading the assists charts in the competition. So far, many defenders have struggled against the Barca star, with Lyon becoming his latest victims in Europe.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the tweets directed at Smalling ahead of his showdown with Messi.

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