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Lionel Messi

You're going to tell your kids – Pochettino wants Spurs to enjoy Messi meeting

02:51 BST 02/10/2018
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The Argentinian is impossible to stop and Tottenham manager said his team must enjoy facing the Barcelona star

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told his players to enjoy facing Barcelona star Lionel Messi, saying it was something they would tell their kids about.

The LaLiga champions visit Wembley on Wednesday, facing a Spurs side needing a win after opening their Group B campaign with a late defeat at Inter.

Spurs must find a way to limit the impact of Messi, who has scored eight goals in nine games this season.

But Pochettino said his players needed to make the most of their opportunity to face one of the all-time greats.

"I am not going to try to find a solution. I am going to say to the players, 'Enjoy playing against Messi, because you are going to have the opportunity to play against one of the best players in the history of football'," he said.

"More than it worrying you, it needs to excite you to play and so you can say, 'Oh, I played against Messi', or 'I played against [Diego] Maradona', or 'I played against Ronaldo'.

"This is the type of player that you are going to remember. For your ego, it's a thing that you are going to tell your kids and grandkids.

"Sometimes, my kids say to me, 'Ah, you played with Maradona, you played with this or you played with that'. And they are so proud."

Barca go into their meeting with Spurs on a three-match winless run, having drawn with Girona and Athletic Bilbao either side of a shock loss to Leganes.

However, they are still top of LaLiga and Messi has eight goals and five assists in nine games in all competitions this season.

"It's difficult to find solutions to try to stop him [Messi], I promise you. I think it's impossible," Pochettino said.

"It's only to enjoy it, to be close, to help the players who are going to face him and, in the end, when you have the ball, to try to have possession, to play in the opposite half, to try to push Leo to play far from your goal. Because if not, it's terrible."