Barcelona vs Bayern Munich is the pick of the Champions League quarter-final ties.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen vs Manuel Neuer. Frenkie de Jong vs Thiago. Lionel Messi vs Robert Lewandowski.
We. Can’t. Wait.
Bayern Munich will enter the game as favourites as a result of their remarkable run of form.
The German champions put Chelsea away with ease in their round-of-16 tie, winning 7-1 on aggregate.
And in Lewandowski, they have perhaps the best player in the world right now.
The Polish striker is in the form of his life, making it 53 goals in 44 games in all competitions this season during the 4-1 win against Chelsea last Saturday.
The 31-year-old would have been a heavy favourite to win the Ballon d’Or award this season. He’ll be ruing his luck that it’s been cancelled.
But a Champions League winner’s medal will go a long way to making up for that, and he’ll be desperate to win the competition after losing the final with Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
Messi, who was superb in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Napoli at the weekend, will be standing in his way.
But according to Germany legend Lothar Matthaus, Bayern should have nothing to fear when they face Quique Setien’s side.
Speaking to Bild, Matthaus said Barcelona are not the team they once were - and that it’s the German side that have the best player in the world.
“Messi faces his successor as the best player in the world: Robert Lewandowski. He is the best player, not just the best forward,” Matthaus said.
"The Barca of today is no longer the same as before. They have Messi, of course. A player like him is always capable of genius.
"But he alone will not be enough against this Bayern. Barcelona does not scare me."
Matthaus' words could come back to hurt him. Messi has previous experience of tearing Bayern Munich apart, after all.
But the 1990 World Cup winner doubled down on his belief that Bayern will have no problems reaching the semi-finals in Lisbon.
“Naturally Barcelona have enough quality to produce the best of themselves in one game, but I think Bayern will have to make many mistakes and do many things wrong to lose against this Barcelona,”
he told Sky Germany, per Goal.
- Lewandowski was robbed of Ballon d'Or
- Pirlo picked Messi in dream XI - but not CR7
- Messi's goal v Napoli with Peter Drury commentary