Joleon Lescott sat watching the Champions League final on Saturday and swiftly came to a conclusion: if Manchester City draw Barcelona in next season's competition, someone else will get the job of marking Lionel Messi.
City have secured direct qualification into Europe's most prestigious club competition. And, because of their relatively lowly seeding, it could mean a meeting with Barca's team of stars, who shone so brightly at Wembley this weekend.
"We need to stay away from them," warned Lescott. "I went to the game and they were pretty good, probably the best team I have seen. If we have to play them in the group stages I will pass Messi onto Nigel de Jong or Vincent Kompany."
The fact Lescott can even talk in such terms is justification for his decision to quit Everton for City two seasons ago.
Former manager Mark Hughes raised a few eyebrows when he agreed to cough up £22million for the former Wolves star.
It did appear at the start of this season Lescott did not appeal to Roberto Mancini's tastes as his sporadic first-team appearances tended to be at left-back.
However, Kolo Toure's failed drugs test earned Lescott an unexpected opening and his partnership with Kompany proved to be one of the major reasons why City ended up fulfilling all their pre-season goals.
"It was a massive season for us," he said. "To get into the FA Cup semi-final, beat Manchester United and then win the final speaks for itself.
"At Everton we were not expected to win the league. At City we are and it is something we believe can be done.
"We can take confidence from what we have achieved so far. Opposition teams will have to be more fearful when they play us."
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