Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his Manchester United players that Barcelona are not just a one-man team after hailing Lionel Messi as one of the “best individual players ever”, ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
With Messi in typically brilliant form, having scored 43 goals in 40 appearances for Barcelona this season, Solskjaer was quick to point out that the visitors have a number of match winners in their side.
Former Liverpool players, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, have drawn the attention of Solskjaer, with the Uruguayan having struck seven times in his last nine games in all competitions.
“He’s a fantastic player and he will go down in the history (of football) as one of the best individual players ever,” the Manchester United manager said of Messi.
“He will be difficult to stop but it is never impossible. It’s not like it’s Messi against Manchester United – it’s (Luis) Suarez, (Philippe) Coutinho, (Ivan) Rakitic, (Arturo) Vidal.
“There’s so many good players, we cannot just focus on one player. We know we have play against 11 of them.”
Manchester United were handed a boost with Solskjaer saying he is hopeful Marcus Rashford will be fit following the ankle injury that forced the striker to miss his side’s 2-1 Premier League loss to Wolves.
The forward started Tuesday’s training session doing individual work which had raised questions over his participation in the first leg.
Defenders Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia remain unavailable while Ander Herrera is unlikely to recover in time to face Barcelona, but midfielder Nemanja Matic could also make the team.
Credit: Sky Sports