Champions League 2018-02-22 5:25 AM

There’s a very good reason for Argentine great will want a reunion with the Reds

Liverpool weren’t the only ones celebrating a significant landmark during the recent round of Champions League games.

The Reds’ 5-0 win at Porto in the first leg of their round of 16 tie was the biggest-ever away win by an English club in the knockout stage of the competition, and the heaviest home European defeat in the history of the Portuguese side.

It also helped Jurgen Klopp’s side take a purposeful stride towards the quarter-final stage.

And there’s one man who’d surely welcome the chance to lock horns against Liverpool in the last eight.

Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona great notched his own personal milestone when netting his club’s late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Famously, it was his first goal against the Londoners at the ninth attempt.

Messi’s strike means that, of all the teams he has faced during a Barca career that has seen him score 535 goals in 621 games, he has only failed to score against 11 of them.

And Liverpool are one of them.

Messi was only 19 when he featured against the Reds 11 years ago in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Liverpool won 2-1 at Nou Camp, and held on to a 1-0 reverse in the Anfield return to progress on away goals. Messi scored in neither game.

The Argentine has also failed to net against European sides Benfica, Rubin Kazin, Inter Milan and Udinese, and didn’t notch in the Club World Cup final win over Saudi side Al-Sadd in 2011.

Messi’s other blanks have come against Spanish opponents Gramenet, Girona, Real Murcia, Xerez and Cadiz.

Having ended his Chelsea drought this week, Messi will have a chance to address another shortcoming when Girona visit Camp Nou at the weekend.

And with Barcelona now favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, the little man would surely love the opportunity to test his talents against Virgil van Dijk and the rest of the Liverpool rearguard.


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