Bendtner wary of 'crazy' Messi
Nicklas Bendtner rates Lionel Messi as the greatest player in the world but hopes Arsenal can stop him.
Last Updated: 30/03/10 10:59am
Nicklas Bendtner has hailed Lionel Messi as the greatest player in the world but hopes Arsenal can stop the Barcelona superstar.
Messi has been in dazzling form this season and will look to inspire Barca past the Gunners in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
The first leg of the tie is to be held at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday and Bendtner is fully aware of the threat Messi will pose.
"To me, Messi is the greatest player in the world right now. He has got a fantastic vision of the game, and what he can do technically - it's just crazy," Bendtner told the Daily Mirror.
"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."
Bendtner is nevertheless confident that Arsenal can contain the Argentine if they get their tactics right and deny him the freedom he thrives in.
"If I were a defender, I would try to make sure that he couldn't turn with the ball," said the Danish striker, who feels Arsenal can make it through to the last four.
"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."