“Lionel Messi shows in every game why he is Messi.
His average performance is this type of game,” said Spurs boss, Maurico Pochettino after his fellow Argentine inspired Barcelona to a 4-2 victory over Tottenham in their Champions League group game at Wembley on Wednesday.
Two goals, exquisite passing and not a pair of gloves in sight.
Messi may always draw comparisons with his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo - who has strutted his stuff in England, Spain and is now over in Serie A with Juventus - but he has shown time and again he has is the man for the big occasion, especially when facing English clubs.
The 31-year-old has scored 22 goals and delivered six assists in 28 games against England’s finest - more than he has against clubs from any other country.
In six appearances against Arsenal, Messi scored nine goals and had one assist. And against Chelsea, he scored three goals in ten appearances with three assists.
Messi’s magic continued in his six appearances against Man City, netting six goals and providing two assists. In his two appearances against Liverpool, Messi could not score, and also failed to provide any assist.
But against Man United, Messi was able to prove his scoring ability, netting two goals in four appearances, but without any assist. He scored two goals in one appearance against Tottenham on Wednesday.
Barcelona 2-0 Man Utd, 2008-09 final
Before Ronaldo made his move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, duels between him and Messi were limited to the Champions League.
Here, in a Rome final billed as a contest between the two and as United tried to retain their crown, Barcelona were inspired by Messi, who capped his performance with a stunning headed goal.
Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (6-3 agg) 2009-10 quarter-finals
Arsenal actually led this tie 3-2 thanks to a Nicklas Bendtner goal in the Nou Camp, only for the Gunners to be dumped out by Messi’s individual brilliance.