Lionel Messi news: 'I do not know with what adjective to describe Messi,' says Juan Mata ahead of Barcelona clash
What's the story?
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has hailed Barcelona captain Lionel Messi as a "special player" whom he enjoys watching. However, Mata also conceded that his desire to help Manchester United win their Champions League clash tonight against Barcelona will stop him from relishing the Argentine's performance.
In case you didn't know...
Barcelona will host Manchester United at the Camp Nou tonight, with both sides looking to secure a semi-final spot in the Champions League.
The Catalan giants hold a first leg advantage going into the clash and remain firm favourites to progress to the next stage of the competition.
However, the Red Devils cannot be written off just yet. After all, they are a team that recently overturned a two-goal deficit against favourites Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16.
The heart of the matter
Mata has revealed that he had a chat with a friend about Messi ahead of the big clash. Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Mata said: "I talked about that with a friend. Messi makes me enjoy every time I see him but you suffer when you face him."
"Everyone admires the greatness of Leo, which is exhibited every three days. But the desire to win tonight will prevent me from enjoying his game."
He added, "He is a special player. I do not know with what adjective to describe him."
Asked if a win over Barca would be a miracle, the midfielder replied, "0-1 is not impossible to overturn, especially if we look at the Paris night. I do not consider it a miracle but a complicated challenge. United are more than capable of scoring but if we do not, we are out."
The much-awaited clash between Barcelona and Manchester United will take place tonight at 12.30AM (IST).
Messi relishes playing against English opposition and would be looking to put the Red Devils to the sword.