Lionel Messi is the world's best but Arsenal can still scupper Barcelona, insists Nicklas Bendtner

30 March 2010 12:47
Nicklas Bendtner has hailed Lionel Messi as the best player in the world but insists Arsenal can overcome the Barcelona superstar and qualify for the Champions League semi-finals.

Despite the Argentina forward's blistering form so far this season, in which he has already bagged 32 goals in all competitions, Bendtner claims it is honours even ahead of Wednesday night's quarter-final first leg at the Emirates.

But, although he is confident about his team's chances,  Bendtner is still certain about exactly who will be the chief threat to Arsenal's progress among the ranks of the Catalan giants.

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'To me, Messi is the greatest player in the world right now,' Bendtner told a national newspaper. 'He has got a fantastic vision of the game, and what he can do technically - it's just crazy.

'The things he can do with the ball - and at pace and top speed - is just amazing.

'What decides it for me is not his many goals, although his goal account is impressive, but the thing is that he can do so much for his team. What counts is the total amount of his many, many qualities. He is just the greatest.

'He has got such quick feet and such good dribbling skills that you simply can't take the ball away from him when he is in high speed.'

The Denmark striker even offered his team-mates in the Gunners' backline a few tips on how to defend against Messi and urged the Gunners'to get physical when dealing with the little maestro.

Admiring glances: Nicklas Bendtner (right) knows the threat posed by Messi (left)

'If I were a defender, I would try to make sure that he couldn't turn with the ball,' he said.

'As soon as he has turned towards the opposition goal with the ball at his feet, he is almost impossible to stop.

'What counts in our favour is that we are playing in a different style to what Barcelona are used to in the Spanish league.

'Against us, Messi won't have the same amount of space and time to challenge and dribble with the ball, and the pace of the game in England is also higher than in Spain.

'It will be a totally different kind of game against us than Barca are used to, so even if they are probably slight favourites against us, I would say that the odds are quite even.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

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