Jose Mourinho says all-time football great Lionel Messi will want to leave his mark in the "mythical" Old Trafford when he captains Barcelona against Manchester United in the Champions League quarter finals.
The two sides will meet on April 10 in Camp Nou with the second leg at Old Trafford to be played on April 16 in a repeat of the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, both of which were won by the Catalan club, and featured Messi on the score sheet.
Speaking exclusively to RT in his role as a pundit, former United boss Mourinho said that Barca will "respect" his old team as victory for the Premier League side is improbable but attainable given their scalps in Paris and Turin in previous rounds.
Nevertheless, Mourinho believes Argentine icon Messi will be looking to muster an unforgettable performance in the second leg at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.
"United this season was capable to win against Juventus and against PSG why not to do it against Barcelona?" the two-time Champions League winner said.
"But Barca will be aware of that, will respect United and Old Trafford and Messi will want to leave his footprint in a mythical stadium."
The two clubs have a storied history of meetings in European football. Barcelona were the opponents for Manchester United's 2-1 Cup Winner's Cup win in 1991, the first European trophy won under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Both goals of that game were scored ironically by former Barcelona player Mark Hughes.
Barca's 2008 semi-final meeting with United was noted for Messi's lackluster performance in the all-important away leg at Old Trafford, won by a single, stunning Paul Scholes strike for United to progress 1-0 on aggregate, on the way to The Red Devils adding a third overall European title.
Messi will perhaps use that disappointment at being unable to leave his mark in Manchester over a decade ago to fire him and his teammates into the last four and a step closer to a fourth Champions League title in ten years.
Cristiano Ronaldo will play parallel to his great rival as a Juventus team boasting perhaps their most powerful lineup since they reached the final in 2015 in a losing effort against Messi's Barcelona, take on Ajax of Amsterdam.
Mourinho believes that the youthful exuberance of the Dutch side, buoyed by dispatching holders Real Madrid in the last round, could create problems for Juventus, but that the Old Lady of Turin has learned from sloppy mistakes.
"Ajax-Juventus is the youth against the know-how and the experience," Mourinho said. "Ajax can create problems with their dynamic and creativity but Juve, after an awful match at Madrid, Read More – Source