In the latest Roma news, Kostas Manolas admits “there’s no way to stop” Barcelona star Lionel Messi and says his side will have to cope the best they can in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final, first-leg clash.
Roma, who managed to overcome Ukranian outfit Shakhtar in the previous round, have a huge challenge on their hands to make the semi-final stage of the competition but history could be made in Spain.
The Giallorossi, who are sitting third in Serie A, are looking for their first-ever victory at the Nou Camp and just their second over the Catalans, with the only success coming back in 2002, a 3-0 win.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s men are on a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions heading into the contest and have suffered just one defeat from their last eight away matches.
Bosnia and Herzegovina international Edin Dzeko scored in the 1-1 draw against Bologna last time out, taking his tally to 14 for the campaign, and it is 33/1 with Betfair for the striker to score first and Roma to win the first-leg.
Argentine Messi will obviously be a huge threat that the Italian side will have to deal with and the Barca captain came off the bench in the 2-2 draw against Sevilla to bag his 26th La Liga goal of the season.
Manolas, who has been at the Stadio Olimpico since 2014, knows just how good the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is and admits there is no actual way of stopping the forward.
“[Pep] Guardiola is right when he says there’s no way to stop him,” he told Il Giornale. “Even if you could somehow fix that and block him, there are 10 others than can hurt you. Of course Barcelona are something else without the Argentine, we’ll have to do our best.”
Roma’s last visit to the Nou Camp saw them concede six times back in 2015 and the Italians have not kept a clean sheet on the road in this competition since 2007.