The UEFA Champions League quarter final stage features those who provided the biggest shocks of the last round going head to head, but also provides some of the tournament's biggest stars the chance to dispel doubters and demons.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces perhaps the toughest test of his short but eventful career at the helm of his former club. A winner in the most dramatic style of this competition in 1999, scoring the winner to hand United the European title in stoppage time, has already made his mark in this season's competition.
Initially appointed as a stop gap until the end of the season, Solskjaer's early successes were brushed off as nothing more than overdue victories powered by player morale.
After wins away at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and a draw with title-challenging Liverpool coming before a momentous, against-all-odds away victory over PSG in the last round, Solskjaer was entrusted in leading the club out of a murky period that has lingered ever since Sir Alex Ferguson departed the hotseat in 2013.
Against Barcelona, Solskjaer must rally his men and muster every inch of self-belief that may have helped them over the line in the early days, to find a way past one of the greatest football dynasties of recent time and of any era. Should he be successful, any doubts as to his worth as manager will be vanquished.
Argentine great Lionel Messi captains Barcelona on their visit to Old Trafford. Former United boss Jose Mourinho believes one of the competition's and indeed the sport's all-time great players will be looking to "leave his footprint in a mythical stadium", something he failed to do when the clubs met in the 2008 semi-final.
That game was won by a stunning Paul Scholes strike as United went on eventually to clinch their third European title in Moscow in the final. Although since then Messi has won a hat-trick of winner's medals, including twice scoring against the Red Devils in the 2009 and 2011 finals, the debate still hangs over Messi's showing against English clubs.
Social media has been awash with jokes aimed at United's at-times leaky defense, and how a likely partnership of the often-times comically calamitous Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will be able to cope with the likes of Messi, especially paired with ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
Nevertheless, United's defense has already coped with PSG's own potent pairing of Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria in their last outing, although their heroic 3-1 win in Paris only came after bad mistakes were made a disastrous 2-0 home defeat.
For all Messi's rigRead More – Source