Lionel Messi: Remembering Barcelona star's performance vs Chelsea in 2006

Lionel Messi was too good for Chelsea in 2006

On February 22nd, 2006, Barcelona and Chelsea met in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

It was a hugely entertaining game under the lights at Stamford Bridge, one which saw Frank Rjikaard's Barcelona secure a famous 2-1 victory.

An own goal from John Terry and a late strike from Samuel Eto'o sealed the win in a match that saw Chelsea's Spanish left-back Asier Del Horno sent off for a horrendous tackle in the first half.

His victim? An 18-year-old Lionel Messi, who tormented Jose Mourinho's star-studded Blues side 16 years ago to the day.

It was the Argentine's first appearance on English soil in the colours of Barcelona and he dropped an absolute masterclass on a very muddy pitch in west London.

Messi in action

Chelsea players tried to rough him up, but Messi was too quick, skilful and brave, shaking off a number of poorly-timed tackles.

You can check out his individual highlights from the game below.

Messi vs Chelsea in 2006

Imagine thinking Messi would have struggled on a wet and windy night versus Stoke City...

Before his first big performance on the European stage, Messi spoke about Barcelona's rivalry with Chelsea and revealed that some players in the squad hated Mourinho's side more than Real Madrid.

"There are players here who hate Chelsea more than Real Madrid," the Argentine told the News of the World, per Sky Sports.

"I never thought I would hear myself say that. I also never thought I would see something worse than the Boca and River Plate rivalry or Brazil v Argentina - but this is.

Del Horno's tackle on Messi

"We would rather play Arsenal, Manchester United or anyone else than be on the pitch with Chelsea."

They really didn't like each other and Barcelona players would certainly have been ecstatic after they eliminated Chelsea from the 2005/06 Champions League.

Mourinho's side could only achieve a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou after losing the first leg, the Spanish giants securing progression to the quarter-final stage on aggregate.

Barcelona went on to win the whole competition, the first of Messi's four Champions League titles.

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