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Barcelona vs PSG: Ibra or Messi – who will triumph at Camp Nou?

April 10, 2013 By Abdullah Zubair
The second leg of the Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain promises to be an intriguing contest. While there will be an array of talent on the pitch, two players namely Ibrahimovic and Messi will be the men to watch out for.
While the hosts Barcelona boast a squad regarded by many as one of the greatest ever assembled, the visitors are newly emerging force after the recent influx of massive finances.

And while PSG still have a long way to go before it can match the mystical class of the Catalans, it does have in Zlatan Ibrahimovic a striker who can be better than the best in the world on his day. Interestingly, Barcelona does have the best striker in the world in the form of Lionel Messi. Hence football fans from the world over will be at the edge of their seats as they witness which striker walks out victorious at the final whistle.

It would be inaccurate to state that both strikers are similar and pose the same form of threat for opposing defences. While Messi’s dribbling skills are a treat to watch for anyone in the world, Ibrahimovic’s approach is more of strength and overflowing confidence. While Messi would look to sneak his way through a solid back-line, Ibrahimovic would attempt to storm his way through a wall of players before delivering the final blow.

At 169 cm, Messi is hardly ever called by his team-mates to defend set-pieces. On the other hand, at 195 cm, Ibrahimovic has a dominant aerial presence that comes in handy in all parts of the pitch.

At the international stage, both have found their respective methods nearly as effective, with Ibrahimovic’s 39 goals being eight greater than Messi, but the former having represented his country in nine additional games as well.

Ibrahimovic being older than Messi and having spent time in a great number of different clubs, has 7 league titles to his name, which is 2 more than the little man from Argentina who has always played for Barcelona. Both strikers lead the attack for their respective clubs, wearing the celebrated number 10 jersey.

Messi, however, is somewhat more fortunate than his opposite number as he has one of the most gifted midfields ever known in football to offer him support. Ibrahimovic, being the talent he is, is still the leading goal-scorer in Ligue 1 and is paving the way for his club towards the title at the end of the season.

Whereas Ibrahimovic will definitely be starting in tonight’s encounter against his former side, Messi’s inclusion is doubtful after he suffered a hamstring injury in the first leg played at Parc Des Princes, however it is believed the little wizard will make the cut.

When the Spanish meet the French at Camp Nou, both strikers will be eager to give a stellar performance in order to ensure their club’s progress into the next round. Both managers will also have plotted out a plan on how to contain them. However, all plans will be thrown out of the window if these two fire-crackers hit the right chords.

Whatever the final result is, football fans will be hoping for awe-inspiring performances from both these men.

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