Veteran AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati says his team will not sweat over neutralising the Argentine talisman's influence in tonight's quarter-final clash at the Giuseppe Meazza in Italy
AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is not expecting an easy ride in tonight's Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Barcelona at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
Superstar: Barcelona ace Lionel Messi. PIC/Getty Images
The Serie A leaders face Barca for the third time this season after previously meeting in the group stages. Abbiati is aware of the challenge his team faces against the European Cup holders and favourites, who can call upon a star-studded squad led by Argentina international Lionel Messi.
"I am perfectly aware that I will have in front of me the best player in the world," Abbiati said. "With a player like him, you can only analyse his free-kicks and penalties as the rest of his game is unpredictable because he is a complete player." However, Abbiati stressed that Barca are not a one-man team. "It's not going to be a battle between me and Messi," he said.
"Barcelona is not just Messi and hence, we will not only focus on him. They are a complete team." Milan have not beaten Barca since October 2004. They did hold the Spaniards to a 2-2 draw in Spain in September, while the Primera Division giants won 3-2 at the San Siro three months later to finish top of Group H.