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Chris Smalling relishing the prospect of taking on Lionel Messi

‘Bring it on’ is the message from the centre-back

Manchester United Press Conference Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says he’s relishing the prospect of taking on Lionel Messi in their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.

The Barcelona captain comes into the game in truly exceptional form, but Smalling says it’s a challenge he’s looking forward to ahead of the first leg at Old Trafford.

“It’s something to relish, I think,” he said.

“This season I’ve been lucky enough to face Cristiano Ronaldo [for Juventus], Kylian Mbappé [PSG] and they’re all challenges I definitely relish and players at this club relish. I say bring it on.”

Smalling is expected to line up alongside Victor Lindelof in the heart of the Manchester United defence.

The duo will have their work cut out against Messi who has 10 goals and three assists in his last six club outings.

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