Manchester City defender John Stones insists he is ‘not scared’ of coming up against Lionel Messi

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John Stones, 22, has never before been given the task of stopping the superstar Lionel Messi, who marked his return from a groin injury by scoring in Barcelona’s 4-0 rout over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Despite the huge ask of trying to keep the five-time Ballon d’Or winner quiet, Stones is calm heading into the clash at the Camp Nou.

In an interview with Sport360 , the centre-back said: “It will be great to come face-to-face with them. It doesn’t scare me, no. I think you have to play against the best to see how you can deal with it and it always brings the best out in you as well. I see it as an exciting challenge and one I’m looking forward to – if I’m picked to play of course.

“For me, Messi’s the best player in the world, easily. He’s one of a kind. I think we, as footballers, appreciate it even more when you come up against him and see what he can really do.”

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