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Juan Mata reveals what he told his friend about Lionel Messi

The Spanish playmaker revealed his admiration for Messi

Manchester United Training Session Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Juan Mata has revealed he spoke with one of his friends about playing against Lionel Messi as Manchester United are set to take on Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

Mata told his friend that while he “enjoys” Messi every time he sees him, “you suffer against the skills he has when you face him. Everyone admires the greatness of Leo, who puts on an exhibition every three days. But the will to win stops me from enjoying his game. He is a special player. I do not know with which adjective to describe him, but he is one of a kind.”

Mata spoke about United’s prospects at the Camp Nou after losing the first match 1-0: “It’s not impossible to turn around and less so if you look at the night in Paris. I don’t consider a comeback a miracle, but a complicated challenge. United is more than able to score, although if we don’t, we are out.

“At the Camp Nou, Barça will be at their best level. The away leg was not a radiant match for the spectator, they were superior until the 1-0, but after a spell we were able to achieve balance. In some phases we were even better, but we didn’t create many chances. I imagine Barça in their usual form at home, trying to dominate with the ball.”

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