Messi admits Barcelona ‘terrified’ of Walcott’s pace ahead of Champions League clashFebruary 15th, 2011 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI
London, Feb 15 (ANI): Barcelona star Lionel Messi has said that the Arsenal striker is the most dangerous player to play against.
Barcelona is determined to come away from Arsenal with a victory on Wednesday to underline their claims to the Champions League title this season.
In the first leg at the Emirates last season, Arsenal had been overrun and were trailing 2-0 until the introduction of Walcott, whose goal and performance rescued a 2-2 draw, The Telegraph reports.
Walcott was similarly influential at the beginning of the second leg, providing the assist for Nicklas Bendtner’s goal at the Nou Camp that briefly put Arsenal ahead before they succumbed to a display of individual genius from Lionel Messi, losing 4-1 and 6-3 on aggregate.
“I can only speak from experience but he was one of the most dangerous players I have ever played. Barcelona players are not scared easily but I can tell you that when we played Arsenal last season he truly worried us,” The Telegraph quoted Messi, as saying.
“When we were playing Arsenal at the Emirates we were so in control of the game at 2-0, with all respect Arsenal were not even in the game. Then Theo came on and changed the game. He pretty much single-handedly salvaged a draw that night,” he said.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola described Walcott as quicker than “our whole team put together,” and observed once he had the ball you needed a pistol to stop him.
Walcott was very much a squad player last season, but the improvement in his delivery and finishing has elevated him to a regular place in Arsène Wenger’s starting team. (ANI)
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Tags: aggregate, ars, arsenal, barcelona, champions league, clash, dangerous player, emirates, genius, lionel messi, london feb, nicklas bendtner, nou camp, pace, pep, pistol, striker, telegraph reports, walcott, wenger