Champions League

Stones looking forward to Messi challenge

2016-10-19 11:25
Johns Stones and Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City centre-back John Stones is relishing the chance to pit himself against "the best player in the world" in Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

The Citizens lock horns with Barca in the Champions League on Wednesday night, in what promises to be one of the standout fixtures of Matchday 3.

Messi made a return to action at the weekend, coming on as a second-half substitute and bagging a goal in a 4-0 triumph over Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou.

As such, the Argentina international is in line to start against City at the home of the reigning Spanish champions.

"He's one of a kind," Stones told reporters. "I think we, as footballers, appreciate it even more when you come up against him and see what he can really do.

"I'll be looking forward to that challenge. But it's not just him, it's everyone in that team. I think Luis Suarez has taken his game to another level since he was at Liverpool."

Reflecting on his encouraging start to life in Manchester, Stones admitted he was "still learning, and vowed to continue improving.

He added: "You can't let your game slip or your focus. It's something I'm working on, but that comes with age and experience.

"It takes time to learn the game and I'm still learning. There's plenty more to come."

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