Sergio Aguero says even Pep Guardiola may struggle to come up with a plan to stop Lionel Messi when Manchester City face Barcelona on Wednesday.
Former Barca boss Guardiola faces his old club in the Champions League, with Messi fit again after he returned from a groin injury to score in the Catalan side’s 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Aguero is looking forward to coming up against his Argentina teammate and close friend but knows his recovery could spell trouble for City’s hopes of securing a result.
“Playing against Messi will be something special,” Aguero is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. “We are the same nationality and we are friends too. For that reason I didn’t want to get Barcelona in the draw but sometimes fate plays a part and there’s nothing you can do.
“I know all about him and of course so does Guardiola — but then when it comes to Barcelona everybody in the world knows about all their players, so it doesn’t mean so much.
“He will be difficult to stop, I know that from experience. All we can hope is that he has a bad day and our defence plays the game of its life. It’s that difficult because Leo is the best in the world.”
City thrashed Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 in in the Champions League this season, but a 3-3 draw against Celtic means Guardiola’s side could need at least a point in Barcelona if they are to have any chance of topping the group.
Aguero says City are desperate for success in the Champions League, having reached the semifinals last season, but understands why they are not favourites for the competition.
“The Champions League is our unfinished business,” he added. “We all want to win it. In the past we didn’t do well but last year was different and we must raise our game and give everything for our fans this year. We’ve made a good start, we want to continue.
“We just want to concentrate on ourselves in this competition. It’s normal that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern [Munich] are the favourites to reach the final but there’s no reason why City cannot be there. Winning the Champions League would mean everything to us. It would be a dream come true and total madness for everyone if we did it.”