It is one of those old adage that the Barcelona superstar and five-time winner of the Golden Ball Lionel Messi fails to shine against the defensive grit and defenses against Premier League defenders.
It can't hack it. Can you really do it on a cold and rainy night in Stoke? The questions and statements were long and tiring, and one of those ancient myths handed down from generation to generation, losing substance as it went on.
The fact is that, after his exploits against Tottenham in the Champions League group stage this season, Messi has scored 22 goals against English clubs; more than any other player in the competition.
The Argentine was particularly sublime at Wembley against the Spurs, where he effectively inspired Barcelona to win a victory alone. Who can forget the numerous times that tormented Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal in the last 16 years of the competition at the beginning of this decade.
The bigger the occasion, the greater the performance, and with the Catalan giants being drawn against Manchester United in the quarter-finals of this year's competition, Messi will have fond memories of playing against the Red Devils.
Lionel Messi scored more goals in the Champions League (22) against English teams than any other nation.
9 against the Arsenal
6 against Man City
3 against Chelsea
2 against Man Utd
2 against spurs
Another possibility to increase the advantage against Man United. pic.twitter.com/KHUNvbra4w
– Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 15, 2019
The 31-year-old has two goals against United in the Champions League, and to support the point mentioned above, both have been scored in the final.
Almost a decade ago, Messi got the better of his longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo to score a striking header to end a 2-0 triumph in Rome, and then in an exhibition at Wembley in the 2011 final , inspired by Barcelona another Champions League triumphs over the broken heart of the Red Devils.
Both times the pressure was on. Both times the little Argentine came forward. When the Catalan giants take the field against United in the last eight of the Champions League, Lionel Messi will once again appreciate being at the center of closing the dreams of an English team in the competition.