Cape Town - Chelsea
forward Pedro gave his take on Tuesday's Champions League clash against
his former club Barcelona, and Lionel Messi in particular.
The two clubs have met 10 times before in the competition, but Messi
has yet to score against the Blues in eight attempts ahead of the first
leg at Stamford Bridge.
"Messi is the best player in the world, but he's not invincible,"
Pedro said, having played alongside the Argentine between 2008 and his
move to London in 2015.
"Obviously, it's Barcelona. It's Leo Messi. It's very difficult to
stop this guy because he's very quick, very clever. But, look, it's not
"He's on another level. No one can do what he does. For this reason,
to have played with him is special. Special for me, and something to
tell my sons in the future because, probably, he'll be considered the
best in history."
The last time the two sides met competitively was in April 2015, when
Chelsea pulled off an improbable 3-2 win on aggregate en route to the
final against Bayern Munich.
"I remember these games so well," added Pedro, who was on the other
side back then. "Chelsea were always horrible opponents, very difficult
in these games: compact, strong in defence, pressed very well.
"For that reason, we always found it difficult against them. For the
players of Barcelona, they'll be thinking this tie is going to be very
tough, this game for them, because Chelsea are strong. Chelsea are
compact, and it's never easy to play against us."
Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time).