As Lionel Messi takes on another English opponent on the Champions League stage, look back at some of his most memorable moments.

By 90Min
April 10, 2019

If you haven't noticed, Lionel Messi is pretty talented.

He proves his ability every week in Spain and has put English teams to the sword time after time in the Champions League. His Barcelona side is set to take on Manchester United on Wednesday, and Messi will be looking for another famous showing under the bright European lights.

Here are nine of his greatest showings against Premier League opposition:

9. Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City (2014/15 Last 16)

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He may have missed a penalty in the first leg in Manchester, but Messi certainly did not let it get to him as he helped guide his side to a dominant victory in the return fixture.

No player was safe from his outrageous nutmegs, and the ball had to have been glued to his feet. That's the only explanation for the dribbling skills that were on show.

His defining moment came through a delightful cross-field ball to Ivan Rakitic, who lobbed Joe Hart to give his side the win. 

8. Chelsea 1-2 Barcelona (2005/06 Last 16)

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In his first taste of English football, Messi showed he deserved his place as one of the world's best with a typically excellent performance.

Combining with fellow superstar Ronaldinho, Messi left Chelsea spinning with his footwork and dribbling, frustrating Asier del Horno so much that the Spaniard earned himself an early bath after unnecessarily clattering into him.

He didn't score, but he didn't need to. He helped Barcelona assert their dominance, and began a trend of impressive showings against English opposition.

7. Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (2017/18 Last 16)

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Messi has faced Chelsea more than any side in his Champions League career, yet he has scored more goals against 12 other opponents. The Blues have often frustrated him, but he got his revenge in the 2017/18 season.

After grabbing his first goal against the Blues a week earlier, Messi made up for lost time by netting two to humiliate an underwhelming Chelsea side. He somehow managed to slot the ball through Thibaut Courtois from an impossible angle, before putting it through the Belgian's legs again an hour later.

Fans unveiled a huge banner for Messi which read 'God Save The King,' and rightly so. He was in a world of his own.

6. Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona (2015/16 Last 16)


Arsenal did all it could to stop Messi, but the fact that he still scored twice should tell you everything you need to know about his performance. 

The attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar looked to be having the time of their lives, and a stunning counterattack ended with Messi opening the scoring for his side.

The perfect summary of this game came late on as a desperate Mathieu Flamini sent Messi crashing to the ground, admitting he simply could not keep up with the Barcelona star, who stepped up to convert the penalty and put an end to this tie.

5. Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (2008/09 Final)


The game was billed as 'Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo', but there was only one winner. The diminutive Argentine looked right at home in the Champions League final, and put in a performance deserving of such an occasion.

United simply could not get near Messi, who ghosted past the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick like they were not even there. 

But, for all his talent with the ball at his feet, Messi used his head to somehow connect with a high cross to hammer home Barcelona's second and cap a sublime individual performance.

4. Tottenham 2-4 Barcelona (2018/19 Group Stage)

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Messi seems to relish coming up against English sides, and he made no secret of that when he came up against Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in October 2018.

Spurs appeared to focus their efforts on stopping Messi, so he stepped back and decided to pull the strings for the team. Spreading passes out left, right and centre, Messi tore hole after hole in Spurs' defence, but that was only the beginning of his brilliance.

He hit the post twice, and scored two goals that were incredible in their simplicity. Players don't often have such an all-around impact on a game, but there aren't many players like Messi.

3. Barcelona 4-0 Manchester City (2016/17 Group Stage)

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Pep Guardiola's return to the Camp Nou quickly turned into a horror show, and that's all down to Messi.

Manchester City looked scared of the Argentinian magician, making countless mistakes in possession. Messi doesn't need you to make it easy for him, but that's what City did throughout the game. He capitalized on a slip from Fernandinho to calmly net his first goal, and things soon worsened for City as Claudio Bravo was sent off.

With the Citizens now a man down, Messi showed his tactical awareness to exploit the space all over the pitch. He went on to net twice more, but again showcased his playmaking abilities to terrorize his opponents. Messi is on another level, and he proved that here.

2. Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (2009/10 Quarterfinal)

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Have you ever seen one of those videos where a professional footballer goes up against 100 school children? That's what this game looked like for Messi, only his opponents were one of England's top sides.

Nicklas Bendtner gave Arsenal a shock lead, but Messi was not prepared to let his side lose. Operating in a central role, the Argentine peppered Manuel Almunia's goal with shots and found the back of the net with three of them, including a delightful lob to seal his hat trick shortly before halftime.

He didn't stop there, embarking on a late solo run that left two defenders frantically lunging for the ball, before powering the ball through Almunia and into the back of the net.

1. Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United (2010/11 Final)

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In what was arguably the greatest performance by any club side in the history of the sport, it only makes sense for Messi to put on one of his best shows.

With Messi as the focal point, Guardiola's passing juggernaut was on full show as they danced around United with terrifying ease. Everything Messi touched turned to gold, and he turned Wembley into his own personal playground.

He scored just one of his side's goals, but this was not about statistics. He redefined the way we view football, and put on a showing that few will ever forget.

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