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Man Utd star Fred names 'out of this world' Messi as toughest opponent as Telles plumps for Neymar

11:14 BST 06/04/2021
Lionel Messi Neymar
Two Brazilians on the books at Old Trafford have lined up against some of the finest talent on the planet over the course of their respective careers

Manchester United midfielder Fred has named “out of this world” Lionel Messi as his toughest opponent, with the Barcelona superstar billed as a “genius”, while Alex Telles considers fellow Brazilian Neymar to be the best that he has faced.

Two South Americans on the books at Old Trafford have lined up against some of the finest talent on the planet over the course of their respective careers.

Both have, however, had little trouble in picking out the cream from that crop, with the obvious qualities possessed by two of the most fearsome forwards around making it easy for their skill sets to be recognised.

What has been said?

While taking part in a Q&A session on United’s official website, Fred and Telles were asked to select their most fearsome foes.

Brazil international Fred said: “Neymar is a great player, it is so difficult to mark him.

“For me, I think the toughest player I came up against was Messi; he's out of this world, he's a genius. 

“For me he's the best in the world, a great player and I think he's the toughest opponent I've played against.”

Telles added: “I've come up against a lot of difficult opponents. I answered the same question last week and nothing has changed.

“Neymar was one of the hardest players to mark given his quality, speed and intelligence both with the national team and when we played against PSG.

“He's a highly versatile player with the power to make such quick decisions, so you have to really concentrate.

“He was one of the hardest players to mark for me and I'm sure numerous other players will say the same thing.”

When did Fred face Messi?

United were paired with Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League.

Fred played the full 90 minutes in both legs of that heavyweight encounter, with the Blaugrana running out 4-0 winners on aggregate.

Messi was the star of the show in the second of those fixtures, with the mercurial Argentine bagging a brace at Camp Nou as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side slipped out of Europe.

What about Telles and Neymar?

The Red Devils left-back lined up against his fellow countryman in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.

United got the better of PSG at Parc des Princes, as Telles made his competitive bow for the club in a 2-1 win, but Neymar and Co got their revenge at Old Trafford in a convincing 3-1 success.

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