'Man Utd can't stop Messi but can beat Barcelona' - Yorke believes 'world's best' can be toppled

Lionel Messi Barcelona Espanyol 300319
The former striker admits trying to contain an Argentine forward is pointless, with collective strength set to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side through

Manchester United cannot stop “world’s best” Lionel Messi, admits Dwight Yorke, but he believes Barcelona can be beaten if the Red Devils play to their collective potential in the Champions League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are preparing to take on the Spanish heavyweights at the quarter-final stage of this season’s competition.

Messi and Barca are due at Old Trafford on Wednesday for the first leg of an eagerly-anticipated European encounter.

Both sides will be desperate to collect a positive result to take back to Camp Nou, although United have already shown against Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16 that they are capable of putting in inspirational performances when chasing away from home.

Yorke believes another notable scalp can be secured in the last eight as long as United do not focus too much on trying to contain Messi, with the former Red Devils striker telling the club’s official website: “I don’t think we can stop Messi.

“I think that you have got to concentrate on your game. I think we have to play the most near-perfect game to overcome Barcelona.

“We know that Messi is arguably the world’s best footballer in our generation, and when you have that sort of mentality, it is always difficult.

“But I feel if we play the team collectively and we play to our potential, even with Messi’s greatness, I think we may just have the edge on them.

“We have to play as a team and we have to play to our full potential and, of course, you need a little bit of luck in those games to go your way and, if we can get that on the night, there is no reason why United cannot come out victorious in those two-legged games.”

David Beckham Premier League Manchester City v Manchester United

Yorke knows all about the challenge of facing Barcelona in the Champions League.

Back in 1998, as United surged towards an historic treble, the former Trinidad & Tobago international scored twice and assisted the other in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Camp Nou.

He benefited from the pinpoint crossing of David Beckham in that contest, with a man who forged his reputation on being in the right place at the right time admitting that an iconic winger played an important role in his success at Old Trafford.

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Yorke added: “I would say that there was no other footballer in the world, even to this day, with a better delivery of a football than David Beckham.

“For me, not the greatest footballer I have played with, but certainly he was a big part of my success in terms of the number of goals that I scored at United.

“He is a great footballer, a great ambassador and a great guy. More importantly, I had a real good time, real fun, playing with David Beckham.”