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Man Utd v Barcelona: Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi to light up quarter-final, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic thinks Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi will be key (Picture: Getty)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has backed Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi to light up the Champions League quarter-final between Manchester United and Barcelona.

Though Ibrahimovic played for several of Europe's most decorated clubs, including United and Barca, he never managed to get his hands on the Champions League trophy before making a move to MLS outfit LA Galaxy.

United host Barcelona at Old Trafford for the first leg of an intriguing tie on Wednesday night and Ernesto Valverde's side are favors to progress thorough the semi-finals.

Ibrahimovic is looking forward to the ‘interesting’ encounter and is either part of the competition.

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"I think it will be a very interesting game. "Two big clubs, two big clubs playing against each other," Ibrahimovic told Barcelona's official website.

‘Both teams with great history and it will be exciting to see and fantastic players in each team.

"Let's see who will be the strongest on the day."

Ibrahimovic believes two of his former team-mates, Pogba and Messi, are likely to be key players over the course of the two legs.

"Obviously, Messi makes the difference in each game he plays, it's no secret," he added.

"I think for United, you have Pogba making the difference there. It will be more of a battle between Messi and Pogba, even if it’s a collective sport.

"I think in these games it 's all about the teams, not an individual player, but these are the players that make the difference so it will be interesting."

Messi scored 43 goals in 40 games for Barcelona this season (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stressed that United would be foolish to focus on the threat of Messi at Old Trafford.

On facing Messi, Solskjaer said: ‘He’s a fantastic player and he will go down in the history (of football) as one of the best individual players ever.

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"He will be difficult to stop but it is never impossible. It’s not like it’s Messi against Man United – it’s [Luis] Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Arturo] Vidal.

‘There are so many good players, we cannot just focus on one player. We know we have play against 11 of them. "

MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confident of keeping Paul Pogba despite Real Madrid interest

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