Gary Lineker responds after Emmanuel Petit says Lionel Messi would struggle in the Premier League

Could Lionel Messi do it on a cold, wet night in England?

It’s a question that always emerges when the discussion of Messi playing in the Premier League is raised.

The Barcelona star has enjoyed great success against English sides, though. He scored against Manchester United in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, while his four-goal display against Arsenal in 2010 is one of the greatest individual performances ever.

In his career, the Argentinian has scored 26 against English teams, per Opta.

And yet there are still those who doubt whether he could cope with a 38-game season in the Premier League.

In February, former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit said Messi wasn’t built for England’s top flight.

“Honestly, I don’t think he’s suited to the intensity of England,” Petit was quoted by the Mirror as saying.

“He doesn’t like being closed down and being fought. In Spain, he’s protected.”

One of Messi’s biggest supporters, Gary Lineker, has now leapt to the Barça forward’s defence.

Taking to Twitter, Lineker said Petit’s comments are “absolute guff”.

“22 goals in 30 games against the strongest 6 teams in English football,” Lineker wrote.

“Absolute guff to suggest he wouldn’t have destroyed teams here. He’s also as strong as an ox…..make that a goat.”

Still not convinced? Here’s a video of Messi doing it against Premier League teams

Chances are we never will see Messi in the Premier League.

He turns 33 in June and seems intent on playing for Barcelona in the last of his peak years.

And it’s always been Messi’s wish to return to Argentina to play for his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys.

“I always said I wanted to play in Argentine football one day, I don’t know if it will happen but I have it in my mind,” he said in 2018, per the Independent.

“It would be at Newell’s, nowhere else. I would like to do that for at least six months, but you never know what will happen.”

Messi has nothing left to prove in the game, even to those who think a cold, wet night in England would be too much for him to handle.

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