Chris Smalling Says He's Relishing Challenge Of Facing Lionel Messi
For many, the thought of coming up against the greatest of all time is enough to give you sleepless nights for weeks, if not months.
Chris Smalling, on the the hand, isn't one of those people
The England international will come up against Barcelona's finest Lionel Messi in tomorrow night's Champions League quarter final at Old Trafford and he can't wait to come up against the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
You did read that correctly. Smalling admitted in Tuesday's press conference alongside manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he is "relishing the challenge" of facing arguably the greatest footballer of all time.
"It is a challenge I relish. Bring it on." he told the media.
Chris Smalling asked about facing Lionel Messi. "It's something to relish. I say bring it on".
- Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) April 9, 2019
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed his player, saying Messi will be difficult to stop but "it's never impossible." to mark him out of the game on Wednesday night.
"He will be difficult to stop, but it's never impossible," he said.
"We can't just focus on one player because there are 11 of them. Messi will without doubt be remembered as one of football's greatest ever players."
Chris Smalling on Messi: "It is a challenge I relish. Bring it on." #UCL #MUFC #FCB pic.twitter.com/AjuWj1N3Ur
- Michael Potts (@MichaelPottsRT) April 9, 2019
Chris Smalling's heart rate:
⠀ /\⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ /\
__ / \ __/\__ / \ _
\/⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ \/
Chris Smalling's heart rate when Lionel Messi starts running at him:
⠀/\⠀ /\⠀ /\
_/ \ /\_/ \ /\_/ \ /\_
⠀ \/⠀⠀ \/⠀⠀ \/
- Jake :gem: (@Pxgba_Jake) April 9, 2019
Smalling when he sees Messi running at him pic.twitter.com/kTjjIxcPJb
- Trevor Lloyd (@Trevorlloyd92) April 9, 2019
Are you afraid of Messi?
Smalling : pic.twitter.com/frR33BZLyx
- Elly Mwebembezi (@HEmwibembezi) April 9, 2019
Mike Smalling on stopping Messi: "It is a challenge I relish. Bring it on." #mufc #MUFCBarca pic.twitter.com/XSjyVKwaTX
- Thomas Sporsheim (@ThomasSporsheim) April 9, 2019
The thought of Young, Smalling and Jones going up against Messi, Suarez and Dembele is the stuff of absolute nightmares.
- Jason (@jasonholic95) April 9, 2019
How do you think Smalling will fair against Messi tomorrow night at Old Trafford?
Let us know in the comments.